Warnings: Kind of graphic description of injuries from violence, offensive language.
Summary: Four times Blaine had to clean up after himself, and one time he didn't have to.
Author Notes: This has been sitting in my documents folder half-finished for a while since 3x06, and is basically a lot of my headcanons for Blaine's past in one fic. I already wrote a Blaine's First Slushy!fic, but I wasn't too happy with that one and I liked the way it turned out in this kind of fic. Enjoy! Feedback is, as always, lovely :3
Blaine is fourteen when he stares too long at Jason Bremmings in the locker room after P.E. and leaves school with the whispers of his classmates passing over his head and worming their way into his hair so that he can’t forget them. His face burns on the bus and Simon from History doesn’t sit with him.
He comes home to silence and a note on the counter from his mother. There’s pizza in the fridge and they won’t be back until ten.
Blaine crumples the note in his fist and slots the pizza box in the freezer instead. There is a knot of fear in his stomach, nausea and panic threading and weaving, pushing at his lungs and making his breath come harsh and quick.
He goes upstairs and tugs his clothes off, eyes fixed straight ahead while he focuses on breathing normally. The water is too hot but he doesn’t turn it down; he picks up his shower gel and begins to scrub the words away (gayqueerfagfagfag) until his skin is raw and stinging. He doesn’t normally wash his hair on Thursdays but he lets the water cascade over his head so he can convince himself he’s not crying.
His parents get home at eleven and go to bed at twelve. There isn’t a single knock on his door and his mother never mentions the pizza.
He’s still fourteen when he finally says yes, I’m gay to somebody who isn’t himself and in a room that isn’t his bedroom. It doesn’t really make a difference – he never denied it before, so the jocks take advantage of his small, compact size and throw him into lockers, the popular kids mutter things behind hands cupped over ears, and nobody speaks to him.
But there’s something like pride that flares inside him when Dan Jones shoves him against a wall and he just stares back, helpless but not struggling. Jones narrows his eyes and drops him, muttering under his breath, and indicates to his friends with a flick of his limp wrist. Blaine grimaces and attempts to push himself off the floor before two huge, hulking football players tip two cans of white emulsion paint over his head.
“Paint yourself a rainbow,” Jones sneers, crowing with laughter. Blaine glares up at him and his hands slip and flail on the puddle beneath him. The three of them stride away, bumping each other’s fists and snickering. Blaine finally manages to find some leverage on the wall and staggers to the bathroom across the hall.
The paint doesn’t really come out – well, most of it does, but his hair looks grey and it’s sticky and smells, and now he really doesn’t have an excuse for escaping his mother’s hairdressing scissors. He curls up under the sinks and picks at the drying, crumbling paint until the bell rings and a hockey player pulls him to his feet so he can compliment him on his new colour.
Blaine wakes up on his fifteenth birthday in a hospital bed with tubes running out of his arms and his mother perched in a plastic chair next to him. His left leg is broken, both of his wrists are fractured and he has a punctured lung from the rib that one of his attackers snapped in half with his foot. He’d been unconscious for three days and he’d be out of school for three months.
Blaine closes his eyes when his mother jumps to her feet and hurries out of the room, hand pressed over her mouth and tears pouring down her cheeks. The doctor finishes explaining everything to him and it’s Blaine who hands over the small sheet of paper with every pill he needs to the pharmacist three weeks later.
Even though he’d gone along with his parents’ decision of repeating his freshman year, Dalton is still hard. He’s currently battling his way through an essay on the English Civil War and his textbook isn’t useful and neither is the internet. It’s already two thousand words long and he hasn’t fully discussed both sides of whether King Charles was a good King or not (um, no).
Blaine slams his laptop closed and manages to knock over his coffee at the same time. Brown liquid seeps over his notes and then drips onto the carpet.
“No, no, no,” Blaine moans, heels of his hands pressed into his eyes. “You’re kidding.”
He misses his house and he misses his bed. He even misses his mother’s faint, nervous smiles and her tentative hand on his hair. His hands are wet, getting wetter – his roommate is going to kill him and he worked hours on those notes and –
Blaine huffs and sniffs loudly, sitting up and reaching for the box of tissues he keeps on his desk. He begins to mop at the cold, congealing coffee, carefully shifting his laptop and dropping his coffee cup into the bin. His notes go too – but not without a whimper as the colour-coordinated tables and charts disappear past the rim. He fidgets, then, wiping away the last of his spilt coffee and dabbing at the carpet, not sure what to do with his hands.
His roommate isn’t quiet but doesn’t really talk to him besides hello and goodbye. He’s seen him pointing at him and hissing to two taller boys who seem to like acapella a lot; Blaine never works up the courage to ask him what they were talking about. His hands shake and his eyes prickle whenever he sees them whispering and staring, and Blaine hides behind the massive bookcases in the library more afternoons than he can count. He’s terrible at starting conversations and His parents call him once a week (well, it’s his mom on the other end and she merely sends his dad’s best wishes) to check that he isn’t completely submerged in his work and that he isn’t completely miserable.
He isn’t. Not quite.
The way Kurt had always described the infamous slushy attack at McKinley made them seem almost surreal to Blaine, paired with the length of time it took for the jocks to look a bit further down and notice his bowties and designer cardigans. Blaine’s grown since middle school and his first freshman year, but he’s still two heads shorter than Finn, who still smiles almost guiltily in the corridors and nearly knocks him over when he slaps him companionably on the shoulder.
He’s checking his leather-bound planner for the books he needs to take home that day when he hears crowing behind him – still so familiar, sending his muscles rigid and tense. It’s getting louder and he’s frozen in the middle of the hallway, ignoring the people who bump into him and shoot him a hurried, exasperated look over their shoulder.
His first impression of the slushy is the obvious one – it’s freezing, the cold piercing his skin and stinging his eyes because he didn’t screw them shut fast enough. The edge of the cup bounces off his soaked hair and clatters to the floor along with his ruined planner.
His ears are blocked and everything is muffled – he barely registers a hand touching his arm, an alarmed and familiar voice murmuring in his ear. He’s so cold, and the lockers pass him by too slowly. There is a bathroom just past the two science classrooms and he is pushed gently inside by a set of warm hands.
It’s not until he’s staring into a pair of eyes he knows better than anyone’s that he acknowledges who his savior was.
“Blaine?” Kurt is dabbing at his face with a soft, white towel and peering at him. “Honey, wake up.”
Blaine blinks, coming back to himself, but doesn’t unclench his fists.
“Hi.” Kurt smiles gently at him and cups his now dry cheek. “We’re going to get you cleaned up, okay?”
Blaine nods dumbly and stands, motionless, while Kurt pats his neck and shoulders and hair. At first he focuses entirely on Kurt’s eyes (blue like oceans, skies, green like vast and endless forests, always shining, stunning) but the towel is slowly getting redder and redder, just like-
“N-no, don’t-“ Blaine shrinks away from Kurt, hands finally moving and digging into his clumping hair. They come away scarlet and he begins to shake.
“Blaine – hey, shh.” Kurt takes his hands in his own and squeezes them gently, tugging Blaine closer so he can kiss him on the cheek. “It’s just slushy. It’s not blood. You’re okay.”
“Oh.” Kurt smells clean and soft and he curls closer, nose burrowing into Kurt’s collarbone where his cologne is just slightly stronger. Kurt’s arm loops around his back, his thumb rubbing over his shoulder blades, as Blaine grasps the edge of Kurt’s vest and holds on tightly.
“I’m here,” Kurt mumbles, mouth on his hairline. “I’m here and I love you. Always.”
“Love you,” Blaine whispers, his other hand sliding under Kurt’s arm and over to grasp his shoulder. “Thank you. For being here.”
A part of Blaine knows that he shouldn’t have to thank Kurt – that Kurt loves him and will be ready with open arms and a beautiful, reassuring smile whenever he needs him. He knows Kurt is biting his lip, can feel Kurt tightening his arms, because Kurt doesn’t know everything about Blaine and neither does Blaine, at this point. But what astounds Blaine about Kurt is that he lets Blaine peel back more hasty bandages from over old wounds and holds him together until the surface seals over again by itself – not hiding or covering, just fixing.
And he stays, and Blaine would be lying if he said he doesn’t hope for ever.