Blaine woke and kissed along Kurt’s jaw as he slept. Sleeping next to Kurt was definitely some of the best sleep that he ever had, and he always felt rejuvenated when waking and seeing him. Watching Kurt sleep was one of his guilty pleasure, and seeing him sleeping soundly with deep even breathing had been a most pleasant change in his morning routine; however, here it was Saturday and Kurt was still sleeping at 9am when he most likely should have been at the theater for a sound check.
He stumbled out of bed quickly showered and pulled on clean sweats before padding into the kitchen and shuffling through the fridge. He wanted to eat which was a small miracle considering he had little appetite, but nothing looked pleasing so he settled on a ginger-ale and a small bowl of oatmeal before shutting the fridge and settling on the couch to wait for Kurt to wake up.
They really needed to sit down and talk about where life was taking them, and Blaine didn’t know where to start. Rachel had mentioned if he heard wedding bells, and Blaine knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Kurt was the one and that he wanted him safe and happy but proposing now on top of everything they had going on in their life sounded huge and fast but he needed Kurt by him like air. He flipped through the channels before dozing off with Max at his feet.
There had been very little sleep lately so it was sort of a miracle when Kurt woke up and found he’d slept the entire night through. He stretched his hand across the bed, reaching for Blaine, but finding only more sheets. Blaine must have slipped out of bed without Kurt realizing and that made Kurt nervous. What if something had happened? That’s why he’d been unable to sleep so far. He’d wake up several times in the night, jumping at every little sound only to find that Blaine was safe and soundly sleeping beside him. He was probably just out in the other room, Kurt knew that. He could be logical about but that didn’t stop his heart from racing just a little as he pulled on his yoga pants and padded out to the rest of the apartment.
There was Blaine. He was asleep on the couch. Max lifted his head and looked at Kurt, his head shifting to the side as if to ask Kurt why he was so worried. Kurt just shook his head a little at the dog and smiled. Then he made a quick stop in the restroom before heading into the kitchen to start the coffee pot. Once that was done he he leaned against the counter to work on a quick to do list while he waited for his caffeine fix.
They needed more fruit. Blaine had been a real sport about the wheat grass but Kurt was going to bring over his juicer and try some different blends with other fruits to vary the nutrients Blaine was getting along with the wheat grass. Also he needed to pick up his juicer, or have someone else pick it up. Kurt knew he needed to go to his apartment, but somehow he’d managed not to have to leave Blaine since he was released from the hospital the other day. Oh he needed to have someone pick up his mail. He added that to his list. He needed some more clothes and, oh and he needed to actually check his voicemail before it filled up. He had fourteen messages waiting for him. Really if he was going to go to the store for fresh fruit he ought to grab some other things too, Blaine’s idea of proper post op eating was sort of heavy on the sugary stuff and really thin on food that would help him build his strength.
Kurt had been reading up on diet and chemotherapy. What foods helped the body stay strong, helped replenish nutrients lost, helped combat an upset stomach. He was armed with a ton of ideas, he just needed to get to the store. He ought to get some real cleaning done today too. Not that Blaine’s apartment was filthy, but it had probably been awhile since it was dusted and vacuumed and the bathrooms and kitchen needed cleaning for sure. Blaine’s immune system wasn’t very strong right now and the last thing he needed was to get sick because Kurt hadn’t taken the time to disinfect regularly.
The coffee pot switched off just then and Kurt poured a cup of coffee for himself. He thought about having a banana but settled for a piece of whole grain toast instead before heading back out to the living room to check on Blaine. Satisfied that he was still sleeping, Kurt began to tidy up quietly, forgetting his toast and his coffee altogether.
Blaine stirred slightly when he heard water running in the kitchen. He looked at his watch and figured it was Kurt making coffee. He rolled over and closed his eyes again only to open them awhile later. He was absolutely exhausted. Chemo seemed to make him tired all the time. He rolled over and noticed Max wasn’t at his feet, and Kurt wasn’t either. He got up and stumbled into the bedroom to find the bed made and the bathroom cleaned. The smell of disinfectant was strong in the air and he swallowed hard against the bile rising in his throat and backed out of the bedroom.
He did smile though because it was really nice of Kurt to do that. He had needed to clean since before leaving for the hospital, but exhaustion had caught up and it hadn’t happened. He walked back into the kitchen and washed his hands before reaching for some sort of snack. His body had been craving sugar, and he had been diving in. He was trying to balance it out, but something about the taste of his normally healthy faire was unappetizing, and all he wanted was a donut. He sighed and settled on a container of chocolate yogurt before going back to the couch, and noticing the untouched coffee and toast on the coffee table. Kurt wasn’t taking care of himself. He was too busy taking care of him. He took a deep breathe, and took a bite of the yogurt. He was just finishing off the snack when he heard the door turn, and in walked Kurt with Max, “hey you,” he smiled, “come sit so we can talk.”
Kurt smiled back, “Hey,” he said. “Okay, let me just wash my hands really quick.” Kurt headed for the kitchen sink. Blaine wanted to talk and Kurt had a few ideas about the subject already. Whatever it was, Kurt wanted to put it off. He’d been putting everything important off for days now but he didn’t really know how to stop. even now, standing at the kitchen sink, Kurt wanted to wash up the bowl and spoon in the sink. It would only take a moment he knew, but then he’d find something else and something else and eventually Blaine would have to tell him to stop. It was his dad all over again. Kurt knew he was doing these things but he couldn’t make himself quit. Quitting meant being still and being still meant having time to do other things like listening to voicemail and returning phone calls and thinking. Kurt washed the bowl anyway.
When he finished he dried his hands carefully. They were a little red from being in the chemicals earlier and Kurt rubbed at his dry knuckles ruefully. He should have found gloves. He ought to find the lotion. Instead he went and sat with Blaine. If he didn’t right this moment he’d be off finding something else to do. Whatever it was, he needed to go ahead and let Blaine tell him. He leaned in and kissed Blaine’s cheek as he sat. Hopefully this wasn’t about Blaine’s health. Kurt thought he could face anything except bad news about Blaine.
“What is it?” he asked hesitantly.
Blaine watched as Kurt went into the kitchen. He heard him wash his hands then wash the oatmeal bowl to just anyone looking in would think Kurt had a bad case of OCD, but Blaine knew that Kurt was scared, and he could tell Kurt was running. It was obvious Kurt was scared and feeling lost, and Blaine couldn’t help but think the only way to help him stay sane was to sit him still long enough for all of his emotions to bleed over and him to open up.
Blaine watched as he dried his hands and examined his knuckles before sitting down next to Blaine. He accepted the kiss smiled gratefully and sighed as he wrapped his arms around Kurt. ”Stop a minute; slow down,” Blaine whispered against his ear, “I’m fine just tired, and you are cleaning crazy and need to stop and slow down. When was the last time you checked in with work and called friends and went to your apartment or to the spa for yourself?”
Kurt leaned into Blaine, his heart hammering for just a second before Blaine spoke. Kurt’s defenses went up right away, but not because he wanted to fight Blaine. Well, maybe part of him did, but it was more because he was doing his absolute best. He was trying and Blaine needed looking after. No one else was lining up to clean or cook or shop. Maybe Cooper, Kurt remembered some discussions about that the other night, but... Kurt wanted to be doing these things, even though he knew he needed to do exactly what Blaine said. It was too scary to slow down or stop.
It was Saturday wasn’t it? Kurt didn’t say this out loud, but he counted back, it had been five days since he last spoke to his boss and he knew he had missed calls from work. He’d missed calls from everybody. He hadn’t been to his apartment, not since he’d left for the reunion, and he didn’t care about that anyway. He certainly didn’t care about the spa, was Blaine serious?
“Blaine,” Kurt whispered. “I can’t deal with any of that right now. I just want to be here, with you.”
“Kurt, look, you have to,” Blaine said, “you’re here and there is absolutely nothing you can do that is going to change what is happening with me. You need to sit and rest and keep your job because you are so busy running around and looking after me that I barely even see you except as a fly buzzing around my apartment.”
He cupped Kurt’s face with his hand and leaned in and kissed him softly and slowly before pulling away, “five minutes uninterrupted you time. That means no cooking, no cleaning, no running around, and even if for that five minutes you want to sit here and stare at me to make sure I’m not disappearing then I’m fine with that, but you have got to make time for you because Kurt I don’t want to be the cause of you losing who you are. Also you have got to call the theater and talk to the director. I know you have an understudy, and I know that you would much rather be here with me, but I will NOT be the cause of you losing the best damn thing that has ever happened to you so please do this for me.”
Blaine was so sincere it almost hurt. No, it did hurt because not only was he sincere, Kurt knew he was absolutely right. That didn’t change anything though. Kurt closed his eyes so he wouldn’t have to see that look on Blaine’s face up close. Blaine was worried and Kurt hated that he was the one adding to Blaine’s troubles. Maybe he could sit here for a few minutes. He could do that much, and he would be next to Blaine. If Blaine needed anything Kurt could get it for him. Yes, he thought, that might work. As for the other, well, Kurt didn’t know how to tell Blaine exactly. He wasn’t sure he’d be going back to work at this point.
“I’ll sit,” he opened his eyes. “I can sit with you for a little bit and then I have things to take care of. We need some things from the store too,” he said, swallowing. His eyes were down, focused on Blaine’s knee because that was something neutral. Kurt felt his stomach lurch in protest, but he shoved it all away. He could sit. For five minutes, because that’s what Blaine wanted and needed right now.
Blaine leaned in and sighed as he kissed down Kurt’s neck and massaged tense muscles in his arms and shoulders. “I need you to close your eyes and focus on the sound of my voice,” Blaine whispered softly before he started to hum softly in Kurt’s ear. He wanted him to relax and to breathe. ”You know nothing says I can’t go to the store with you or take care of your calls. I’m not helpless love.” He trailed his tongue gently against the side of Kurt’s ear and sighed, “I want you to let me take care of you too. This is hard for everyone involved, and just when you’re stressed out it’s okay to be scared and come talk to me. We’re in this together. Just remember that.” He slipped his hands away from around Kurt, “Why don’t you go back to your apartment, grab most of your clothes, and anything else you might need, and I’ll make us dinner. Cooper’s going to be in late and Max will keep me company while you’re gone?”
Kurt closed his eyes, letting Blaine’s mouth and hands distract him. God he was easy to distract. Part of him was glad Blaine knew that about him, the other part just wanted to grumble about getting back to work. Shut up, he told that second part as Blaine hummed in his ear. He could feel his head loll to the side as Blaine whispered about how he could help Kurt, all the while his lips and tongue played over the sensitive places Blaine knew so well. He didn’t want it to end but before long Blaine was pulling back. Kurt grabbed at his hand and squeezed it gratefully.
“Okay, I’ll go, I’ll pick up some things and then I’ll be back.” It was hard to imagine leaving Blaine unattended but maybe he could just double check that Blaine’s neighbor was here and could keep an ear out. He really didn’t want to do this at all, no matter how much he needed to. “You’ll call me though? If you need anything or if anything happens?” Kurt hadn’t let go of his hand yet.
“I promise, and I know Jessica from work is supposed to be bringing me some product papers to go over for a jingle project I’m doing from home while I’m in treatment so I shouldn’t be alone to terribly long, and I have Cooper’s number and your number. Rachel said she might even pop over today if not tomorrow. Just please calm down babe. I’ll be fine,” Blaine whispered again before kissing him softly and shooing him off his lap, “now go before I change my mind, forego doctors orders and take you into the bedroom to show you the true meaning of love, and relaxation.” He raised his eyebrows in a smirk and smiled, “I love you.”
The corner of Kurt’s mouth twitched up in a hint of a smirk. “I’m going,” he said, sliding away, even though he wanted to do nothing more than cover Blaine in kisses. That way led to trouble he knew. “I love you too,” Kurt told him. He stood up and then leaned back in for one more swift kiss to Blaine’s lips. “I won’t be gone long at all,” he began and then he stopped. If he was going to leave, he needed to actually do it. Kurt turned away, looking over the living room as if double checking that there wasn’t some sort of impending doom he could sense, but there wasn’t anything he could see.
Kurt gathered up his wallet and his phone, found his keys in the dish byt the door and reluctantly pocketed everything. Then he turned around toward Blaine again and smiled, bravely. “See, I’m going,” he said. “I love you, I’ll be back in a little while.” Kurt blew Blaine a kiss and then slipped out the door. He went by to check that Blaine’s neighbor was home and thanked her profusely for offering to keep an ear out in case anything happened and he left her his cell number. Then he headed down and out to the street where he hailed a cab home before he could change his mind, and right before he stepped into his cab, he dialed his voicemail.
“Kurt, it’s Carole, we got your text, Blaine’s been sent home? How are you both doing? Call me when you get a chance and remember that we’re thinking about you and Blaine every day.”
Hey. I haven’t heard from you in a while. I know you were going to your reunion but everyone at the theater is saying something about an extended leave? Are you okay? Let me know if you need anything. Oh, this is Nicki.
Kurt, it’s dad. Call me.”
Hey Kurt, James has been asking about you, man. I hope everything is okay. The whole cast is missing you.
Mr. Hummel, this is a courtesy call from Green Mountain Electric. Your bill is past due. We’ll be sending a disconnect notice tomorrow and you will have ten days from the date on the top of the later to pay your bill. Thank you.
Hi Kurt, it’s Carole. I know I keep leaving messages, but we haven’t heard from you and Finn’s on tour and we’re just worried about all of you, all four of you. Just,
Kurt, it’s James. We need to talk. Call me.
Hey, Jo here, remember me, your friendly clothes bringing, mail checking neighbor? Are you coming by soon, your mail is piled up and taking over my bar.”
Kurt, this is your father, who loves you. It would be nice to hear your voice again. The texts are great, don’t get me wrong, but there’s only so much information I can get out of two sentences. Tell Blaine we love him. I love you son, call home soon. You’re worrying Carole to death over here.”
Mr. Hummel, this is Shelly from Cornelia Spa. You missed your appointment today and I was just calling to see if you’d like to reschedule. Thank you so much, goodbye.
Kurt, this is Lil. I’m worried about you, sugar. James says you were supposed to check in and you haven’t. If you don’t call him back today I don’t know what’s going to happen to your part. Has something happened? There’s a rumor going around here about a boyfriend who’s in the hospital or was in the hospital? I don’t know what’s going on but you need to let someone know what your plan is hun. Okay? Call me back.
Kurt, this is James. Your boss unless you’ve decided to break your contract. I suggest you call me or come by to see me today. Next Monday I’ll have to make some very hard decisions about Liir. Don’t make me do that, Kurt. Please.
Hey Kurt, it’s Nicki, again. So, I heard about your boyfriend, I hope he’s okay. Will you call me? Just to tell me that you’re alright? Is there anything you need? I’m just worried about you. Please call me, Kurt. When you can. Bye.
It’s me again, Nicki. Sorry I keep calling. I just thought you should know that Michael’s been in a bunch of meetings with James and he’s walking around like he owns the place. He’s even moved into your dressing room. It’s not right, Kurt. Don’t let him have the part. You’re our Liir, okay? Just you. We all miss you and need you back, so call me.
Kurt slid his key into the door, turned the lock, and walked into his loft. He flipped on the lights and closed the heavy door behind him. His knees failed him after that. Kurt slid to the floor, a tide of emotions spilling over before he even hit the ground. He let his head fall forward into his hands as he sobbed. There weren’t even coherent thoughts so much as an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, of uselessness. He felt tiny, so very tiny, and he curled in around himself there on the floor and let it all come out.
Eventually thoughts came too. His fears of losing Blaine, of losing himself, of losing everything that meant anything to him. How would he survive Blaine’s death? How could he live? He wasn’t suicidal, but he didn’t understand how he could even breath if that happened. What if it didn’t though? What if Blaine was okay? What if he went into remission and got well? Kurt didn't know how to do that either. He was trapped in this in between place where he was just getting by one day at a time. It was tearing him up inside and he knew he couldn’t keep going on like that, but he didn’t know how to stop.
He cried for Blaine. He cried for what Blaine had lost and what he might lose, and the way he suffered and still managed to smile, still managed to take better care of himself and his loved ones than Kurt could. He was a hero. He was amazing and he probably didn’t even know it. Kurt cried for their past and for the future he wanted. When he was done crying about them he cried for Finn and Rachel.
Kurt wasn’t aware of how long he let it go on. He just gave himself over to the release of finally letting it all out. Eventually he couldn’t cry any more and he pulled himself off the floor, slowly.
He’d made no firm decisions yet, but he was determined now to do better, for Blaine, and for himself. Kurt promised himself he’d dive back into living, even if it hurt, and that meant taking responsibility for for his health and his career as much anything else.
Kurt ignored the mess in his bedroom. He’d left it there before the reunion and now it just didn't matter. He did take a shower though, a nice long one. He dressed in something smart looking and packed his suitcase and hanging bag with the majority of his important clothes. He packed the rest of his toiletries too. Then, suitcase zipped and ready, he left his things in the hall and knocked on Jo’s door. She hugged him tight and passed him a box of mail to be sorted when he got back to Blaine’s. Then he locked his loft back up and headed out.