Title: "Until My Dying Breath" -- Chapter Eight
Warnings: Vampire AU with all the unpleasantness that entails. Dubious consent, violence, pain, bloodplay, blood drinking, sexualized violence, grotesque descriptions, dark setting, fear, minor past character death, intense dark emotions, brief contemplation of suicide in a previous chapter. Warnings on a chapter by chapter basis.
Length: 16,500-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: First of all, thank you so much for your patience with this chapter. Real life is busy as heck, and it's been very hard to find the time to write. Second of all, I swear to God I will reply to all of the comments on the previous chapter as well as this one. Thank you SO MUCH for your incredible feedback, and I'm so sorry to be so late in responding!
For those interested, my tumblr is here. I tend to post updates there about how chapters are progressing. :3
Things don’t start to feel anything close to real again for a few hours, after that.
For a long time, tucked into the lean line of Kurt’s side and swaddled by piles of soft blankets as his body slowly regains heat, Blaine drifts on the edge of awareness. Cool, confident fingers drift over his chest, and along the side of his face, and knead his determinedly numb fingers in an attempt to rub some warmth back into them. His ability to focus slip-slides and blurs as his body and mind attempt to come to terms with what has just happened.
It’s almost nice, like this. Pleasant and rewarding, even though he’s achy and sore all over and the side of his neck and thigh are still quietly throbbing. It proves to be impossible to entirely lose track of where he is, though, despite the unreality of it. The sound of Kurt’s voice does its best to keep him grounded in place, anchored to awareness. The high, clear sound of it is so close to his ear as it drifts and lilts with anecdotes and stories that Blaine can’t quite pick out the details of, his mind trailing absently along the narratives.
As sweetly as Kurt holds him, however, the other boy proves to be ruthless with making sure that he stays awake. Every time Blaine’s eyes begin to flutter properly closed, or his head slumps down a bit heavier against the pillows or Kurt’s shoulder, he receives a hard pinch to the arm. Every time, the small chastisement proves enough to jolt him back from the brink of muzzy darkness. Every once and a while, too, Kurt interrupts his stream of speech to adjust their positions on the couch, or ask Blaine a question, or force a few more cookies and sips of sticky apple juice down his throat like someone who’s just given blood at a clinic. The pinching reminders to stay awake even start to register as annoying, after a while. Irritating, because all Blaine wants to do is sleep and Kurt won’t let him.
He had half-expected Kurt to get bored of him after a few minutes and let him sleep in peace, but it doesn’t happen. Instead Kurt stays, holding him close and not showing even the slightest hint of impatience. His whole body is limber and relaxed against Blaine’s, and he shows no sign of wanting to move any time soon.
After an indistinct amount of time, however, the world begins to clarify a bit at the edges. Solidifying and sharpening, coming back into focus. The thick haze of need to sleep starts to lift, and Blaine blinks himself back into awareness enough to attempt to sit up a little straighter against the cushions. Kurt makes a pleased noise at the back of his throat at that, effortlessly helping Blaine to sit up a bit taller. Blaine can see the room around him a little bit more from the new angle, glasses still perched awkwardly on his nose from having someone else put them on his face. He can see part of a wall, now, and the corner of a sleek-looking television set.
And as Blaine’s mind becomes less and less foggy, Kurt’s words start to shift from meaningless sounds to something much more comprehensible.
“... came across another when I was living in Chicago in the 1970s,” says Kurt conversationally, stroking a hand down Blaine’s side with idle little movements. He laughs, high and light. “Absolutely dreadful fashion sense, too. Constantly at least twenty years out of date. Honestly, I don’t understand why it’s so hard for some of us to keep up. Poodle skirts right in the middle of disco?” A scoffing noise, and Blaine can practically hear the rolling of his eyes even though Kurt’s face is entirely outside his line of vision from his position curled against Kurt’s chest. “Ugh.” There is a little movement as Kurt shakes his head. “Anyways, after we’d scoped one another out, we decided to have a little... friendly competition.” A tiny rumble as Kurt chuckles, and the smirk is apparent in his voice. “With regards to the local population.”
It’s about at this point that Blaine decides that, no, he would really rather not listen to any of this at all. Stiffening and skin crawling with a renewed discomfort, he focuses his attention instead on tuning out the chatter of Kurt’s voice instead of tuning it in. This proves to be much more complicated now that he’s swiftly gaining awareness again, however. He tries his best, though, letting his eyes glaze over as he stares at the walls and attempts to reduce Kurt’s casual, horrific words to background noise.
Not too later, however, Kurt’s chattering voice trails off – and Blaine nearly startles right out of his skin when he receives a hard, jabbing poke to the middle of his stomach.
“Hey,” says Kurt’s voice in his ear. Another poke, abrupt and tactless, to the same place on his middle. “Hey.”
“M’awake,” Blaine manages, blinking in confusion when the words come out slightly slurred.
“That’s nice, Blaine,” Kurt returns, sounding a little bit amused but mostly gently condescending. Another hard poke to the shoulder, and ow. Those jabs hurt. Blaine squirms to sit up higher in his grasp, and Kurt lets him. “Do you think you can stay awake if I leave you alone for a bit? I have go do something.”
And this is all still so strange, and unhinged, and wrong. Because the way Kurt is talking to him... god, it’s so ridiculous that it’s almost funny. Blunt and upfront and ever-so-slightly playful, as though the situation is anything resembling normal.
“... ‘s’fine,” Blaine mumbles after a pause, and he feels the soft press of cool lips press against his forehead. Kurt’s hand slides under the collar of his t-shirt, and it’s not strictly sexual as it presses against the flat of his chest. Just... touching. Reassuring, although Blaine can’t be sure which of them Kurt is attempting to reassure.
“All right,” Kurt murmurs fondly against his curls, giving Blaine’s body one last squeeze before disentangling himself from the pile of limbs and blankets. He comes back into Blaine’s vision properly for the first time in a long while as he tucks the covers back around him in the makeshift bed.
As he leans over him, quietly fussing over the way the blankets rumpled when he tries to tuck them underneath Blaine’s sides, Kurt looks... calm. Almost normal except for how pale he is against the dark blue of his housecoat, and the otherworldly quality that Blaine had been so struck by that first night in the alley. There’s a sweet, private little gleam of amusement in his eyes as he edges the covers back around Blaine’s body, and all at once it occurs to Blaine how much of an invalid he’s being made to feel like. As though Kurt thinks he isn’t capable of anything at all.
“I’ll be back in a minute,” says Kurt, standing up straight and looking down at Blaine with his nose crinkling and his hands on his hips. He narrows his eyes. “No sleeping.”
“Okay,” says Blaine quietly in response, a strange numb feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.
Sending a small twist of a smile in his direction, Kurt turns and heads down the hallway back into what Blaine knows to be his bedroom.
And for the first time, Blaine has an opportunity to take in the room around him.
They’re in an apartment, not a house. Now that the world has fallen back into place, that much is clear. Although it is at least twice the size of Blaine’s cramped little place, there’s no way the particular layout could conceivably belong to a freestanding home. The entire space speaks of the same understated modernity that had characterized Kurt’s bedroom: minimal clutter, neutral cream walls, sleek dark flooring that shines as though it has been recently cleaned. All of the windows are covered up meticulously with the same dark film as in the bedroom, heavy dark curtains hanging attractively and unnecessarily on either side. As with the bedroom, the warm glow from several lamps gives the space a sense of forever-evening that makes it impossible to know what time it actually is. The living room is large, full of handsome couches and square bookshelves with bright red accents nestled amongst the sparse books and movies. Across from the couch that Blaine is currently lying on is an expansive, thin television mounted on the wall – and on the coffee table sits a basket full of decorative wicker balls next to a futuristic-looking remote. There is a hallway leading out that Blaine knows leads to Kurt’s bedroom and the bathroom.
Craning his aching neck to see over the back of the couch, Blaine can see a closed door with no differentiating features – as well as an absolutely gorgeous kitchen. Glossy and contemporary, the cabinets are dark and topped with marble-looking counters. Everything is lined and accented with the metallic glint of chrome.
His mother would be beside herself to cook in a kitchen like that, he catches himself thinking – and his heart tightens and catches in his chest.
It’s a beautiful apartment, and although Blaine has no idea which neighbourhood or even which borough of New York it’s located in he can tell just by looking at it that it must cost a fortune. But aside from the quiet noises of movement coming from Kurt’s own bedroom, the whole apartment is quiet and still in a way that makes him certain that no one else lives here.
And Blaine... doesn’t really know exactly what he was expecting. Perhaps one of the covens described in some of the books of lore he had poured over so intensely; some kind of dark family to share in the sport and play that Kurt seems to enjoy so much. A community of immorality, and lavishness, and monstrosity like the kind he’s read colourful myths about. But it’s clear even at a glance that only Kurt himself occupies this space: that he keeps it clean, and neat, and nicely decorated.
Blaine wonders who the last person to see the inside of this apartment was.
He wonders if they’re still alive.
From the depths of Blaine’s memory, Kurt’s words from the park bench are coming back to them. The ones that Kurt had whispered, his breath tickling teasingly over Blaine’s lips, right before leaning in to kiss him for the very first time. Somehow, despite all the fear and time that has passed since then, Blaine can still hear them clearly in his mind as though they’ve been imprinted on the very material of his brain.
“Are you lonely, Blaine?” Kurt asks, quiet words and slow breath ghosting over Blaine’s skin. He’s so close now, only inches away, eyes dark and private. He trails his gaze from Blaine’s eyes, down to his mouth, and back up again. “You don’t have to be lonely.”
For the very first time, it occurs to Blaine to wonder whether Kurt might just be lonely, too.
The sound of soft, padding footsteps is coming from down the hall, growing steadily louder as Kurt comes closer. Blaine knows for a fact that his hearing them is entirely intentional: he remembers all the times that Kurt had appeared without a sound outside his apartment door, announced by the dragging scratch of nails and cooing words and without a single footstep to indicate his arrival.
The fact that Kurt is intentionally allowing Blaine to hear his movements – that he has decided to let Blaine be reassured by knowing where he is, and when he’s coming back, and what is happening around him – makes something uncomfortable and tight twist in the base of his stomach.
A few seconds later, Kurt steps back into the room. The blue housecoat is gone, as is the messy bedhead that had made him look so achingly, tragically young. Instead, he is dressed in a floaty sort of turtleneck shirt and a pair of jeans that are loose enough for Blaine to know that they constitute Kurt’s idea of dressed-down. His formerly mousy-looking brown hair has been styled into something of a twisting sweep, and he smells strongly of hairspray.
Glancing over at the couch with a tight, wary expression as he comes into the room, Kurt relaxes as he sees that Blaine’s eyes are still open. Something affectionate steals across the pale, sharp lines of his face; a smile tugging at the corner of his expressive mouth, a certain softness in his eyes. Blaine’s neck and thigh ache and throb dully in reminder.
And all at once, three things occur to Blaine in rapid succession: he is hungry, he is thirsty, and he desperately has to use the bathroom. The ache in his stomach, the dryness in his mouth, the uncomfortable pressure on his bladder; all three things had been shoved aside for the past few hours by the haze of unreality. But now all three sensations are back with a vengeance. Absurdly, Blaine has never felt more human than he does now: weak and vulnerable, with a body that has to be maintained and fuelled and taken care of. That isn’t frozen in time and effortlessly stunning, a living piece of art that never fades and never changes.
Cheeks heating up as Kurt moves closer, Blaine struggles to disentangle himself from the tightly tucked-in mound of sheets. Before he can get even half-way emerged, though, Kurt is across the room and at his side. His hand grips at Blaine’s bare arm in a way that isn’t painful, per se, just... uncompromising.
“What are you doing?” asks Kurt, tilting his head pointedly to one side and fixing Blaine with a stiff stare. His face is tense, and he one of his eyebrows raises up minutely. For a second, it occurs to Blaine to wonder if Kurt is actually concerned about how he’s going to react. How he’s going to take all this, now that he’s waking; what he’s going to say.
It’s a ridiculous notion, but it wisps along the edges of his mind nonetheless.
“Nothing,” says Blaine thickly, slowly moving his arm out of Kurt’s grasp. Kurt lets his fingers loosen, lets his grip be tugged loose, and Blaine has no idea what this malleability means. He looks right up into Kurt’s eyes, though, trying to look confident. He can’t quite push away the illogical flush of humiliation rising in his cheeks, though. For some reason, the fact that he’s a human being – with all of the mundane, sordid little things that that entails – is almost embarrassing to him in this moment. “Just... bathroom.”
“I’ll help you,” says Kurt smoothly. “Here.”
He shifts, moving to hook his arms under Blaine’s shoulders, and... no. No, no, no, no, no because that is just... that’s too much. He already feels enough like a rag doll and an invalid and a cripple without Kurt helping him go to the bathroom, and this is his kidnapper, technically, and Blaine just... he can’t. Even with everything Kurt’s seen, everything Kurt’s done to him today, this is just too much. Face burning, he tries his best to wriggle out of Kurt’s solid arms.
“I don’t –” Blaine starts, words choking in his throat. “You don’t have to – I can do it myself, it’s fine.”
Around him, Kurt’s arms stiffen. He pulls away after a brief moment, tilting his head to one side and giving Blaine a silently analyzing look that makes his thin brows draw together and his forehead wrinkle.
Something hot and uncomfortable twists at Blaine’s insides as he sits on the receiving end of the look, and he genuinely has no idea whether Kurt is trying to be patronizing or whether it’s unintentional. Maybe Kurt just has no idea how to handle a human being for anything longer than a few hours of heated touches and spilled blood, let alone someone who’s injured that he intends to keep breathing. Blaine has a niggling suspicion that none of Kurt’s string of pretty corpses has ever made it past a single encounter with him, and it’s almost as though Kurt has forgotten what’s embarrassing and what’s acceptable when dealing with normal people for extended amounts of time.
After a considering pause, Kurt inclines his head in a small nod of acquiescence.
“All right,” says Kurt quietly. His eyes flick down to Blaine’s limbs, still tangled and snared in the mess of blankets. “Let me help you to the door, at least. I don’t have to carry you,” he rushes to explain as Blaine opens his mouth to say something. Now that Blaine is able to think in a straight line again, the idea of being slung up in Kurt’s arms and deposited somewhere like an inanimate object is enough to get his hackles up. “I’ll just... support you while you walk. Would that work?”
There is a pause while Blaine considers this alternative; his legs still feel a bit wobbly and sore from being in the same position for so long, and at least it wouldn’t be as pathetic as being carried. He nods, irrationally thankful to be asked for permission for something to matter how small the matter might be. Kurt’s pale face stretches into a pleased smile.
“Okay,” Kurt nods, an understated grin tugging at his lips as he busies himself with methodically extracting Blaine’s legs from the tangle of sheets and blankets. When they’ve all been pushed aside, he stands and extends a long-fingered hand, palm up, for Blaine to take.
And when Blaine reaches out to accept the hand, the coolness of Kurt’s skin is only a little bit surprising to touch.
Kurt pulls him easily and smoothly to his feet, and when he puts weight on his legs Blaine’s inner thigh screams and aches in protest. He stumbles slightly, the room lilting and lurching violently from standing up after spending so long sedentary on the makeshift bed, but Kurt holds him close and firm. Doesn’t let him fall down, but doesn’t just roll his eyes and nonchalantly pluck Blaine off his feet either. Instead, Kurt holds him solidly around the shoulder and keeps him standing until his head stops spinning and everything settles back into reality. After a few seconds, Blaine nods – and Kurt leads him slowly back into his bedroom.
They walk together like something out of a very strange three-legged race. Even though Blaine’s legs feel prickly with sensation and his knees are far less sturdy than he would like after the shock of earlier’s intense emotional release, he is still able to put one foot in front of the other as Kurt helps him quietly along. He focuses on one step at a time, one foot in front of the other as he regains control of his body enough to walk in a straight line.
When they pass through the bedroom, Blaine can see that the bed has been stripped. The sheets, stained dark brown-red with drying blood (his blood his blood oh Jesus), are piled in a corner, and Blaine has to look away quickly to suppress the wave of nausea that rolls over him. His eyes land instead on a fresh set of sheets, neatly folded and resting on a chair, that are clearly intended to replace the ones stained with his own blood. With the bedding gone from the bed, Blaine realizes that the mattress has been zipped up in a thick plastic casing. After a second of staring at the little smears of dried blood on the plastic cover, he realizes that it must be there to protect the mattress from getting bloodstained, and how very intensely and intricately Kurt has planned out so many of the details makes him feel momentarily lightheaded with discomfort.
When they reach the bathroom, its light still on from what happened in here before, Kurt waits for Blaine to reach up and take hold of the doorframe before he moves away. Trying to force his mind away from the pile of bloodstained sheets in the other room, Blaine grips at the doorframe with both hands in order to keep himself standing without Kurt’s support.
But Kurt doesn’t leave him there; not yet. Instead, he just keeps on giving Blaine that same look he gave him in the living room; the one that makes Blaine feel as though Kurt is pushing his skin aside and seeing what’s underneath. As though Kurt is comprehending something important about him for the very first time. Blaine twists under the gaze, and Kurt tilts his head to one side before reaching up to run his fingertips very softly along Blaine’s cheek.
“So stubborn,” Kurt murmurs, quiet and affectionate and distant as his fingertips trail along Blaine’s skin. Not sure what to say in response, Blaine remains silent as he clings to the wooden doorframe. Kurt’s eyelashes are thick, and his fingertips are soft, and after a moment he leans in and brings their lips together in a quick kiss. The press of Kurt’s lips against his is soft, and kind, and it makes the side of Blaine’s neck throb with memories. But it doesn’t even last long enough for Blaine’s eyelids to flutter closed before Kurt is pulling away again, leaving Blaine blinking in the doorframe.
“Let me know if you need help walking back,” Kurt instructs him sternly before turning around, heading back out to the living room, and leaving Blaine alone and shaky on his feet in the doorway.
As soon as the door is closed behind him, Blaine walks to the chrome-and-glass sink, grabs the fancy drinking cup off the edge, and promptly fills and consumes three full cups of tap water. His throat aches as he greedily and messily swallows the water down, his dry mouth and empty belly finally somewhat assuaged after so long without anything to ease them. He gasps wetly as he empties the third cup, one hand gripping hard at the glass counter as he savours the taste of cold water in his mouth, sliding down his throat in thick gulps. The refreshing, necessary chill of it brings him back to reality more properly than anything else has so far.
Not even daring to look at the mirror (to see what he looks like after everything, after giving up) or the shower (where everything was so hot and flushed and close but at least he knew what to expect), Blaine replaces the cup on the glass counter and stumbles over to use the toilet to relieve the aching pressure on his bladder.
When Blaine heads back to the sink to wash his hands, finally starting to feel like a person again instead of a heap of human needs, he cannot stop himself from looking into the mirror to see his own reflection.
The puncture wounds on his neck draw all of his attention, at first. They stand out sharply in the warm, glossy light and make something uncomfortable and blunt twinge inside. The two twin marks are stark and deep and raised against the skin, the skin around them raw and red. They’re ugly, and unpleasant, and they strain and ache when he tilts his head to get a better look at them. Blaine can even see the faint shininess around the wound where Kurt applied the antibiotic ointment earlier. After a minute, Blaine’s eyes trail up to take in the rest of his reflection.
Feeling dimly horrified, Blaine stares at the reflection that is practically unrecognizable as himself. Gone is the young man he always tried his best to embody, with the winning smile and the slicked-down hair who roamed the halls of Dalton and tried so hard to find a home in New York City. Instead, there is a small, rumpled boy staring back at him who looks very much unsteady on his feet. His hair is a wild mess, uneven from being washed and then shoved up against Kurt’s chest while it dried. The glasses perched on his nose give him an air of disorganization, and his own pyjamas seem to hang a bit loose on his body. Although genetics have made it impossible for Blaine to actually be pale, per se, there is an unfamiliar lack of colour beneath his skin that makes him look weak and strained. The red marks stand out angrily against his neck.
They look like war wounds.
Except that Blaine isn’t getting out of this alive.
He stares into his own hazel eyes reflected back at him for a long, long time before he flicks off the bathroom light and slowly heads back down the hall.
When he steps shakily back into the living room – he hadn’t wanted to call out for assistance even though his thigh burns with every step and his head remains determinedly woozy – the entire common area is steeped in the warm, practical smells of food cooking. Stomach grumbling loudly, Blaine stands and blinks as he takes in the very bizarre sight of Kurt efficiently cutting red potatoes into quarters on a large wooden cutting board on the kitchen island. There is a pan on top of the stove full of softly simmering chopped onions growing slowly more and more translucent from the heat, the savoury smell filling up the air.
Kurt doesn’t look up as Blaine enters the room, his attention fixed firmly on the cutting board in front of him as he slices thick pieces of potato, handling the knife in his hands with business-like precision. He does, however, incline his head pointedly in a wordless gesture toward a large brown wing-back armchair that Blaine swears used to be against the far wall of the living room. It isn’t there anymore, though; while Blaine was down the hall, Kurt apparently took the opportunity to drag the chair over to sit in the entrance of the kitchen. All of the blankets and sheets have been moved from the couch, as well; they now lie piled on top of the armchair.
The message is very clear and brooks absolutely no opposition. Feeling cold inside and still a little slow on his feet, Blaine walks over to the newly-positioned armchair and settles himself into it. The blankets are still pleasant to wrap around himself, actually; the tips of his fingers and toes are still determinedly cold. Now that he’s had water and relieved himself, the only real thing Blaine can think about is how very hungry he is. His stomach grumbles and twists when Kurt empties a small bowl of cut-up pork into the saucepan, the smell of browning meat making his mouth water.
“I hope you like stew,” says Kurt airily, looking up at him for the first time now that Blaine is appropriately curled up in his designated seating area. Kurt quirks an eyebrow at him. “You’re going to need to keep your strength up over the next little while. You’re thin as a rake, Blaine, I swear. Have you even been feeding yourself these past weeks?” He tuts loudly as he grinds fresh pepper over the saucepan, shaking his head. “Luckily you have me to take care of you.”
When Kurt places the pepper grinder back in place on the kitchen counter, he shoots Blaine a measured glare. “Don’t even think about not eating out of some misguided sense of honour, by the way. I’d be very unimpressed.”
“I wouldn’t,” Blaine admits, twisting his hands in the blankets wrapped around him.
It’s true, too. Aside from the almost painful way his stomach growls and lurches at the smell of the food, the quiet fact of Kurt’s victory is draped over the both of them like a physical presence. The fact that Kurt has won is utterly inescapable, now. It’s over, and done, and he’s already taken everything that Blaine could conceivably want to keep from him.
Even if the fact that Kurt is keeping him alive to play with makes Blaine feel knotted up and snapped apart, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. However long this lasts before Kurt decides to turn him, Blaine still has to comply with whatever Kurt wants in order to keep the people he loves from being hurt. Kurt sends him a satisfied little smile over his shoulder, clearly feeling the thrill of Blaine finally listening to his instructions without putting up a fight, and begins to chop away thick chunks of cabbage.
And Blaine has honestly never let himself think this far ahead. What happened in the bedroom, and afterward in the shower... that, at least, he had expected. When Blaine surrendered himself and invited Kurt inside, he had done so complete with the unshakable knowledge that certain things were going to happen. It’s not done yet, Blaine knows that; he’ll be nursed back to health and bled and fucked out until Kurt gets bored of his taste or his heat or his fragile body. Even though the idea of being turned into something inhuman and wrong and not him makes Blaine feel cold and empty and dull inside, however, he had given himself over fully knowing it would happen. He knew when he opened the door that Kurt would drink from him, and that Kurt would fuck him; the other boy had never been particularly coy or subtle about any of those intentions during their long weeks of fear-filled conversations over the phone or through Blaine’s apartment door.
But Blaine has never truly managed to get his head past the prospect of Kurt’s teeth puncturing into his neck; has never let himself consider all of the in-between moments amid the pain and pleasure that Kurt has been promising him for weeks. Being held tight against Kurt’s chest as they lie together on the couch, or Kurt cooking him dinner with the same focus and precision he pays to everything else. How the two of them would interact outside of those few anticipated factors.
It’s surreal. Surreal and confusing and it makes his head hurt, because it’s harder to remember that he isn’t here of his own volition when everything is so normal. When Kurt is acting like the boy he met in the alley all those weeks ago and not the monster Blaine has seen him become.
“Do you even eat?” Blaine blurts out, eyes fixed on the cool, quick movements of Kurt’s pale hands as he finishes chopping the cabbage. Kurt’s hands freeze mid-motion, and at once Blaine is gripped with the immediate and irrational fear that what he said might be considered rude. “I mean... I don’t know. When I was trying to... to research you,” Blaine falters, feeling a sharp jab to his chest as he remembers elegant brown hands and steaming mugs of tea and piles upon piles of reference books. He lets out a little breath, wrenching himself forcibly back into the here and now. “... when I was trying to learn more about you, I mean. Everything seemed to be a bit... unclear on that.”
But Kurt is laughing quietly, a little trill of a chuckle. He walks over purposefully to the refrigerator, opening it up and extracting a container of packaged broth. In the split second that the fridge door is open, Blaine catches sight of the very small and centralized amount of food amid the white expanse of its insides. His stomach twists, and he wonders how long that much food can last. When Kurt turns around, he is wearing a smile that stretches his lips wide.
“I don’t eat,” Kurt confirms amusedly, walking back to the patch of counter he’s utilising and depositing the broth on top of it. He sends Blaine a wicked grin, blue eyes sparkling with something deeply private and slightly sly as he runs his eyes over Blaine’s body. “Well,” he says, his gaze sliding down to rest on the side of Blaine’s neck. The wounds there pulse as Kurt stares at them, straddling the line between playful and serious. “I suppose you could say I’ve already eaten today, if you want to be precise about it.”
The heat of a humiliated flush is creeping up Blaine’s neck, into his cheeks. He blinks hard, forcing himself not to reach up and cover the exposed wound with his hands. Blaine can practically feel Kurt’s eyes tracing over the rawness of the punctures; can almost feel him remembering what it was like to drink from Blaine for the first time.
And not the last, says a voice in the back of Blaine’s head.
“But your kitchen,” says Blaine, trying to break the moment. He looks up and catches Kurt’s eyes; they look darker than usual, and it makes something tighten hot and wrong in the base of his spine. “It’s... you’ve got pots, and pans, and food. You know how to cook.”
Kurt sends him a look, stirring the meat and onions with a brand new-looking wooden spoon. “I can still remember the basics,” he says dryly, arching an eyebrow. “My mom died when I was little, remember? I was always the one who did the cooking and cleaning while my dad was at work. It’s a bit like riding a bicycle, cooking again.” He stares down at the gently-simmering contents of the pan, wrinkling his nose. “Well. I might ask you to be the one to taste test this, though. It’s... mmm, no, not really appealing to me.”
But that doesn’t answer everything. “What about the cookware?” asks Blaine, an insidious suspicion already growing in his mind. Kurt shrugs as he empties the contents of the pan into a large pot, not looking him in the eye.
“I knew you were going to be staying here, didn’t I,” says Kurt neutrally, voice slightly stiff as he adds the chopped-up cabbage to the stew pot. “I like to be prepared.”
The words ring in Blaine’s ears. He blinks, looking down at his lap it occurs to him again just how much Kurt has been anticipating and organizing to prepare for something that Blaine had been so, so desperate to escape from. The plastic sheets, the food in the fridge, the newly-purchased cooking implements. He wonders, for a moment, just how much food Kurt had decided to purchase; how long he’s planning to keep Blaine the way he is.
For the first time, as well, it occurs to Blaine to wonder how it is that Kurt supports himself. He bites down on his lip, eyebrows furrowing as Kurt putters about the quietly chic kitchen as he gets everything ready to simmer. This is obviously an expensive apartment, for one thing. Blaine has never seen any evidence that Kurt has some kind of civilian job, not that he would be able to hold onto any kind of position that required him to make appearances during the daytime. How can Kurt afford to ruin expensive sheet sets as though they’re nothing, and buy an entire kitchen set on a whim?
The idea of Kurt – beautiful and deadly, wrapped in fear and power and mercilessness, who is an actual creature out of a storybook – working as some kind of office drone to make ends meet is just too incomprehensibly ridiculous for Blaine to visualize. Besides, Kurt had spent so many of his nights in the past while stalking and harassing and terrorizing him that he couldn’t possibly have had time to hold up an ordinary job in the meantime.
From what Blaine can tell, Kurt is just finishing the last touches for getting dinner ready to sit and cook on its own. He empties a container and a half’s worth of broth into the pot, turns up the heat – and the homey smell of warming vegetable-filled broth begins to waft and spread throughout the house like a physical presence. It hits Blaine right in the chest like a blow, and his mouth falls open as memories rush to the forefront of his mind in the way that only the sense of smell can dredge up.
Tucked up in the chair, Blaine blinks hard as memories and sensation, smells and feelings all flood into his mind. Sitting in the kitchen of the house he grew up in, watching his mother ready stews and adobo while she chatted happily about whatever would happen to come into her mind. The smell of broth, and the warmth from the oven, and the way she used to laugh with her whole body. The way she would wrap him in her arms whenever he was having a bad day.
And all at once, the phone conversation with his mom and dad – when he said goodbye to them, the first and last time he and his dad were ever going to understand each other, oh god – rushes up and catches him in the throat. It’s still so fresh, and so painful; like pressing down hard on an open wound. Blaine’s face feels suddenly so much hotter than the heat from the stove should warrant, and his throat clenches thickly. From the blocked windows in Kurt’s apartment, Blaine has no idea what time or even what day it is. It could have been only a few hours ago that he said goodbye to them. Or maybe it’s been over a day, or more than that; there’s no way to tell.
They might even know that something is wrong by now. The realization makes his eyes sting hot for a moment, and he blinks hard against it as the world blurs.
In front of him, Kurt inhales deeply and freezes. When he turns to face Blaine, his brow is furrowed. “Hey,” he says quietly, and only then does Blaine feel something wet and hot escape and slide pointlessly down his cheek.
And all at once, Kurt is right in front of him; kneeling in front of the armchair with a puzzled and apprehensive look on his perfect, angelic face. Leaning in close, Kurt leans up with a cool hand and swipes the tear away. As though to get rid of any physical manifestation of distress is enough to make it go away.
“Don’t cry,” says Kurt quietly, his clear voice tampered down with surprise and bewilderment. “You don’t need to cry.”
He sounds genuinely at a loss as to how to respond to the sudden change in mood. As though he honestly cannot think of a reason that Blaine could possibly be upset.
“... I’m never going to see my parents again,” Blaine whispers, the words thick and heavy as he speaks the words into the air for the very first time. He knows this, already; has come to terms with what it would mean, trading in his life for theirs. But saying the words out loud brings the ache of it to the surface, touching a pressure point. Makes his eyes sting again, no matter how much he doesn’t want them to.
Kurt’s hand is still lingering along his hairline, drifting over the skin comfortingly.
“No,” Kurt responds, straightforward and simple. His voice is high and clear in the stillness of the moment, and for a moment he sounds so very old despite the youth that slides over his skin like a mask. He gently tilts Blaine’s face with his hand, guiding him so that he has nowhere to look except for right into Kurt’s eyes. They are blue, and endless, and for the life of him Blaine cannot tell if there is any pity in their depths at all. “No, you won’t.”
It’s... hard, hearing it like that. Stark and raw and so, so unforgiving. Blinking hard to force away the persistent stinging, Blaine attempts to incline his head ever so slightly downward to avoid the full brunt of Kurt’s stare. But the pressure of Kurt’s fingertips against Blaine’s cheek increases. Almost imperceptibly at first, and then firmer when Blaine tries to look away in spite of it. Kurt is refusing to let him look away, looking into his eyes with an intensity almost bordering on manic.
For a second, and for the very first time since waking up in a strange bed with Kurt’s arms wrapped around him like a loving cage, Blaine feels sudden and acute fear ripple through him. Squirming and twisting from underneath that look.
“Don’t worry, Blaine,” Kurt murmurs, unblinking and shaking his head the smallest amount back and forth as he speaks. His eyes are riveted to Blaine’s own as he speaks, and each syllable is practically shivering with quiet intensity.
And slowly, very slowly, Kurt’s fingers move downwards; sliding along Blaine’s jaw and down to the side of his neck. Kurt’s fingers circle the two twin wounds deliberately, his eyes leaving Blaine’s for the first time to watch the movement of paler fingers along darker skin and raw red wounds. The touch shoots a little bursts of pain up Blaine’s throat when Kurt’s presses down, and Blaine sucks in a sharp breath.
A cold jolt of primal fear shoots up Blaine’s spine, his legs feeling ever so slightly liquid and weak beneath him. He staunchly presses down the instinct to run because it’s useless, pointless, wouldn’t get him anywhere and he can’t. Has to let Kurt to whatever he wants because it’s over, he lost, and he can’t risk anyone else’s lives when his is already gone.
But instead of hurting him, Kurt is suddenly kissing him. Hard and hot, a crush of lips against lips as he presses right into Blaine’s space. He worries Blaine’s lower lip between his teeth, biting down just hard enough to avoid drawing blood and pressing his fingers into the puncture marks on Blaine’s neck all at once. The twin pains make Blaine gasp wetly against Kurt’s lips, and Kurt takes the opportunity to slide his tongue into Blaine’s mouth. Claiming, taking, taking what he wants again and disregarding everything else.
By the time he pulls away, both of them are breathing heavily. Every nerve in Blaine’s body is steeled and perched on the very edge.
“Don’t worry,” breathes Kurt against Blaine’s mouth, ragged and convicted. His fingers ghost over the wounds once, twice, almost like a reassurance. “I promise you won’t miss them, beautiful. You won’t. Not once I make you like me.”
And nothing Kurt could have possibly said could have hurt as much as that.
“We’re going to be so good,” Kurt murmurs, seeming not to notice that Blaine’s heart has fallen into the base of his stomach and everything is flashing white in front of his eyes. Doesn’t notice the way everything feels suddenly so cold and wrong and soon, too soon, and he doesn’t want to lose them to himself like that. Can’t even think about it, can’t even imagine it. His mom and dad, devastated and trying to find him and Blaine unable even to care.
It’s a repulsive thought, and it makes him feel hollow and horrible so, so lost.
Without pause, Kurt moves down to mouth against the side of Blaine’s throat where the skin is already broken. It makes Blaine’s whole neck throb with renewed aching soreness, and he clutches his fingers into the loose material of Kurt’s shirt.
“It won’t be me, though,” Blaine chokes out, sounding almost childish as the words sink and settle with horrible, horrible sadness in the pit of his stomach. He can’t tell if the words are a denial, or a defence, or just something to fill the gaping space inside. His eyes are stinging, and he shakes his head and blinks hard against it. “It won’t be me.”
But Kurt just sucks hard, groaning helplessly around the wound.
“Of course it’ll be you,” says Kurt dismissively, licking a long line along Blaine’s neck. Blaine shivers at the empty reassurance, not even sure that Kurt heard what he’d said, and he can feel one of Kurt’s hands working through the pile of blankets around Blaine’s waist, worming its way through. It pushes the waistband of Blaine’s pyjama pants down and takes him in hand without preamble, stroking hard and fast and tight in a way that makes Blaine whimper out loud.
“We’re going to be so good, Blaine, you don’t even know,” Kurt murmurs nonsensically against Blaine’s neck, the words muffled and sending sharp vibrations along the skin that bring up tiny ripples of pain. “So good. You’re perfect, we’re perfect, you just – you just can’t tell yet.” His hand tightens on Blaine’s cock, pace slowing down into something determined and focused and intense. “So good,” he says again, licking a long stripe up the puncture marks and making Blaine shudder.
And after a long, long pause that hangs in the air and fills him up, Blaine leans his head against the back of the armchair, closes his eyes – and surrenders into the touch. Lets his mind go purposefully blank as Kurt slowly and patiently gets him off, the stroking touch of his cool hand on his cock a constant reminder of exactly what Kurt is.
Because it feels good, and Kurt’s hand is sure, and because part of him has always wanted this. Because Kurt isn’t going to give him comfort, doesn’t even know why Blaine could possibly want comfort, and so physical closeness is just going to have to be enough.
Because it is easier to let himself be touched and edged and drawn up into heat and slow, slow pleasure than it is to think about the way that this is all going to end. Easier than thinking about what Kurt wants from him, in the end: to twist and stretch Blaine out into a cold, heartless shell that looks like a person who wouldn’t exist anymore.
When they’re done, Kurt cleans the both of them up with a washcloth before serving Blaine a large bowl of steaming stew. The ladle shines as though it has never been used, and so does the silver spoon he takes out of the cutlery drawer with graceful fingers. He squeezes his way next to Blaine on the chair and feeds the stew to Blaine in small mouthfuls, sometimes blowing on the larger spoonfuls to cool them down. Blaine opens his mouth freely; lets Kurt hold him close, and nurture his body, and keep him alive long enough to play with.
He swallows the hot broth down, and lets Kurt stroke his hair, and tries not to think about what is going to happen once Kurt gets bored of this.
Over the next little while, it proves practically impossible for Blaine to keep any meaningful track of time. With the windows blacked out and an almost pointed lack of any kind of time-telling device around the apartment, the days blur together into an endless repeating slide of pain, and sex, and blood.
Blaine wonders if Kurt is trying to drive him insane, not letting him know what time it is or how long it’s been.
He wonders if it’s working.
The dreams keep coming, and they don’t help. Hard and strong and achingly real, that part of Kurt that slithered beneath his skin and taken hold of his subconscious so long ago even more active and vibrant than before. The dreams bleed into reality, and reality bleeds back into the dreams until Blaine can barely differentiate between the two.
Even sleep provides no break from Kurt’s soft words, or his cloying touches, or the sharp heated pleasure-pain of his teeth piercing through Blaine’s skin.
It’s all one endless stretch of time that just won’t end, and the two of them float in this little hollowed-out space in utter isolation. Nothing can exist outside the walls of Kurt’s apartment: not the people Blaine loves, or has lost, or the life he always thought he would have. Not the put-together, charming boy he used to be when the walls of Dalton surrounded him like an embrace, or the unburdened young man his father left him with their final conversation. The world ends at Kurt’s door – or it does as far as Blaine is concerned. Thinking about outside is painful, and complicated, and there just isn’t any point anymore.
After that first time (the bed, the blood, the heat of the water, the soft touch of Kurt’s fingers trailing down his chest as they laid together on the couch afterward), Blaine knows without a doubt that there isn’t any room for any more than the two of them here. Nothing beyond Kurt’s teeth, and his nails, and his appetite, and the utter surrender that is all Blaine can muster anymore.
Blaine breaks down from the sheer uncertainty of it, about a week in. Unable to press it all down anymore, he shatters outwards after being fucked hard and drained deep and without any idea of how long his life is going to be this way. He breaks down with Kurt holding him close against his chest as though he’s something precious, stroking loving hands through dark curls and whispering shhh, Blaine, it’s fine, it’s all fine now, I’ve got you against his skin. Holding him tight and close and innocently for long minutes – until Kurt’s hand slides down lower and Blaine’s hysterical tears turn into choked-out gasps of pleasure-pain, and it stops being sweet and innocent at all.
It doesn’t stop. Not the intimacy, or the way Kurt looks at him, or the sharp drag of blood leaving his body as Kurt bites into his skin and sucks. None of it stops, although Kurt is at least careful not to drink deeply enough to actually make Blaine lose consciousness. He walks the line, though; he brings Blaine close to the edge of the precipice, leaves him reeling and spinning and weak by the time Kurt finally wrenches his mouth away. Leaves him gasping and dazed to the world, so very close to the blackness but just barely, barely held back.
Afterwards, Kurt always practically buzzes with contentment. He holds Blaine close, and whispers loving words of praise, and makes sure the bleeding stays under control. But far more than the pain of the cuts and punctures or the blood loss itself, Kurt breaks Blaine down with the affection in his eyes and the world-changing phenomena of Blaine’s name on his lips. He drinks from Blaine whenever he feels like it, gorging himself on hot blood and never left wanting, and Kurt is always sure to sweetly nurse him back to awareness afterward.
Sometimes, Kurt leans close and drags a lust-sharpened nail along Blaine’s wrist, lapping at the wet heat that pours out; or he’ll dig his teeth into Blaine’s shoulder and groan as he swallows messily around it. A few times, the sharp pain of fangs piercing into flesh even wakes Blaine up in the middle of the night; Kurt’s arms no longer wrapped possessively around his middle but holding him down as he drinks covetously from whatever limb or swathe of skin is closest.
The first time, the happy ease of a thirst well-slaked stretches out over at least a few of days before Kurt wants to drink from him again. But the time after, Blaine thinks, the satisfaction doesn’t last quite as long. And the time after that, the where Kurt is full and sated is a little bit shorter still.
Every time Kurt drinks from him, Kurt seems to grow hungry and itchy with want just that little bit sooner, and sooner. As though he can’t drink deeply enough even when he leaves Blaine dizzy and weak and well-fucked; as though now that he can have drink from Blaine whenever he wants, it would take more and more to leave him satisfied. Before too long, Blaine’s body is a mottled map of cuts and punctures and scrapes and tears.
For the most part, the pet names vanish with an all-at-once abruptness that makes Blaine’s head spin. The pretty things and beautiful things that had haunted his dreams and coiled from Kurt’s lips like a seduction, a poison – they almost disappear altogether after that first day, and the shower, and Blaine’s name on Kurt’s lips as Kurt had buried himself in Blaine’s body and breathed. As though the cloying terms of proprietary, dehumanizing endearment had been an element of the chase, not the possession. As though they aren’t necessary anymore, with Blaine in Kurt’s arms instead of behind an immovable barrier.
As though Kurt has nothing to prove, anymore. And no one to scare.
Instead, Kurt calls Blaine by his name – and that almost makes it worse. It turns Blaine’s own name into some kind of title; almost a signifier of importance that goes far beyond the word’s simple meaning. Twisting the single familiar syllable into something insidious, and personal; into a sound that, at times, Blaine can barely recognize. Whether Kurt says the word with a soft smile, or a smirking grin, or moans it into Blaine’s neck in the middle of grinding deep into his ass, it doesn’t matter. He calls Blaine by his name as though it’s important, as though it’s everything, and it practically turns Blaine’s name into a pet name in and of itself.
The way Kurt says it, too. As though the word holds hidden depths that Blaine himself isn’t privy to; as though there is something about who Blaine is that only Kurt can understand, and perceive, and see.
Blaine still feels like a thing, most of the time.
Even though Kurt doesn’t call him one outright anymore.
Click here to continue on to part two.