Blaine sat next to Kurt’s bedside and squeezed his
hand. Kurt had been awake briefly that morning, which
the doctors said was an excellent sign. More
wakefulness was necessary before they would even try
to remove the respirator. He rubbed his thumb over the
back of Kurt’s hand and focused on it rather than his
face that was partly hidden by tape, tubes and a black
bruise that covered one side.
It was too hard to look at that, and think that if he
hadn’t been late to meet him he might have been able
to stop it.
Burt Hummel put his hand on Blaine’s shaking
shoulders. “For the hundredth time, it’s not your
fault. People get mugged in New York. If you’d been on
time, you’d probably both be in here.”
Blaine nodded at the squeeze to his shoulder and
wiped his cheek. Hearing it helped, even though he
didn’t entirely believe it. People are safer in groups
and pairs than they are alone. He should have been
“I worried this would happen, you know,” Burt said.
“Right in Lima. Some tough guy who hates gays getting
Kurt alone … or a group of them, beating the hell out
of him. I’ve been scared of that for a while. This guy
just wanted money … what is that, irony? A cosmic
joke?” Burt sat next to Blaine and leaned forward, his
elbows on his knees. Then he put his head in his hands
He reached over and took Blaine’s hand, a gesture
that moved Blaine beyond words.
“Blaine, you know he’s gonna be okay? Once he wakes
up and he gets over the horror of the pattern on his
hospital gown, he’s gonna be fine.” Burt smiled,
though his lips trembled.
Blaine nodded, a tear dripping straight down and
leaving a dark dot on his pants. He pulled one of
Kurt’s favorite scarves out of his pocket. He’d kept
it with him to make himself feel better, but maybe it
could serve a better purpose. He draped it over the
safety rail on the side of the bed in a place Kurt
could see it if he opened his eyes and looked toward
them. Then he took Kurt’s hand again, squeezed Burt’s
tighter, and waited.