A Smile at the End of the WorldSeries Pairing:
end-of-the-world fic; read at your own riskCharacters:
Blaine Anderson; WesDisclaimer:
Totally not mine.Summary:
Blaine isn't sure where it came from, but he thinks about Wes' face earlier. He's pretty sure the world isn't going to end, that Wes has probably just finally snapped from college applications and Warblers and the academic load at Dalton. Still. Just in case...Love you too, silly.
This is the Companion piece to Nicest Euphemism
. It stands on its own, but reading Nicest Euphemism
first would probably be better.THURSDAY:
Blaine knows that Kurt's upset about something, but every time he reaches out his fingers close on empty air.
He sits in his room at Dalton and throws a tennis ball against the wall, bounce, bounce, bounce
and Nick from next door screams to "fucking stop that already". Blaine pretends he's deaf and throws the tennis ball again-bounce, bounce, bounce.
It feels solid in Blaine's hands, his fingers run over the felt and he blinks before throwing it once more against the wall. Bounce, Bounce, Bounce.
Blaine's pretty sure Nick's going to murder him in a few minutes but he can't bring himself to care. Something feels wrong, sits heavy in his chest, twists uncomfortably in his stomach, but he doesn't know what it is.
Eventually he swings his legs down to the floor and stands up. He has biology homework and as much as he wishes it won't do itself. Somehow, he doesn't think cellular respiration is going to distract him from his thoughts.
Wes approaches Blaine on his way to the library. He's carrying a Worst Case Survival Guide
with several pages dog-eared, but Blaine's pretty sure his eyes are playing tricks on him. Wes would never dog-ear a page, not even if his grade depended on it. Blaine's heard him lecture people on the sanctity of books (and by extension how e-readers will be the downfall of society) at least four times, five if Blaine counts Wes' rant about Amazon's market share and Border's bankruptcy.
"Blaine, what do you know about water purification?" Wes looks at Blaine. Blaine is tempted to say Wes looks worried, but he's never seen Wes worry about anything, not even Regionals.
"Um-it involves bleach?" Blaine offers. "I know there's some ratio of how much bleach to parts of water but I don't know the details."
Wes nods. "What about signal fires? And edible plants?"
Blaine blinks. Wes is looks at him though, waiting for an answer, so Blaine says the first thing that comes to his mind: "White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red's that's fifty-fifty...could be good, could be dead."
"Hmm." Wes walks away, nodding to himself. Blaine's just thankful he went to camp as a child.
Blaine's phone vibrates against his thigh while he's sitting in Warbler's practice, leaning back in his chair and watching Wes not even bother to to reign in the chaos. He doesn't check the text right away though-it'd be rude to fiddle with it during the middle of practice. David's tapping Wes on the shoulder, trying to get his attention and Thad's staring under the table at something. Blaine thinks he's probably texting because otherwise Blaine doesn't even want to contemplate what he could be looking at.
It's not normal; nothing about the practice is normal. And that added to how weird Wes was earlier and how aloof Kurt's been-Blaine beginning to get paranoid. His dad used to say it's not paranoia if they're really out to get ya
but Blaine can't think of anybody that'd be out to get him. He's tried pretty hard to be a decent guy, friendly to strangers and giving to friends, and he's pretty sure he's been successful at both. Still.
Wes finally stands up and Blaine thinks he's about to call the group to order but he doesn't. Instead he looks around and shakes his head and for half-a-second Blaine's convinced
Wes is about to cry but then his face becomes calm and he just turns and walks out of the practice room.
Blaine stares after him before looking once more at the chaotic room. He stands, throws his bag over his shoulder, and follows Wes. He's pretty sure he wants answers.
"I can't tell you." Wes says, not even bothering to look up from his notebook. "I'd be killed, drawn and quartered and possibly dismembered afterwards."
"But Wes!" Blaine makes his voice whine in that grating, annoying way that he learned from his young cousins.
"Blaine." Wes' voice is steely strong and Blaine flinches before he remembers he's at Dalton now and nobody here will hurt him.
"Wes." Blaine sits down on Wes' bed without even asking for permission. He lets his feet dangle, though, because he's pretty sure his shoes aren't clean and Wes is kind of a germaphobe. A tiny one, really. "I'm just-" and Blaine pauses because he can't say worried, Wes doesn't do worried, Blaine's pretty sure it's genetic. Finally he continues: "concerned. Warbler's practice was downright chaotic and you DOG-EARED a page in a book!" The last part of that might have come out a bit louder then Blaine intended, but he feels he's done a remarkable job at staying calm and centered during the entire exchange.
"Blaine," Wes looks up from his desk and looks at him. He doesn't make a face at Blaine sitting on his bed, which is just another tally mark in the Weird Things Wes Is Doing
column in Blaine's head. "If I could tell you, I would." He finally offers. "I haven't even told David anything."
"We both know I'm more perceptive then David," Blaine argues. "AND I can keep a secret. I never told you about the death threat Kurt received before he transferred here."
Wes shakes his head at Blaine. "You kind of just did, Blaine." His voice is gentle and that's wrong, Wes' voice is never supposed to be that gentle. It's the kind of voice Blaine associates with turning somebody down for a date or bad news that nobody wants to hear.
"He's already back at McKinley, it's not a problem anymore." Blaine waves his hand as if to say 'duh' because there's no way he'd say a word about it otherwise.
"Hmmm." Wes looks back at his desk, at the paperwork and the Worst Case Survival Guide
that's sitting next to it. It's not even one of the fun ones, Blaine notices. He has the Zombie
one in his room, a stocking stuffer from last Christmas. "Do you know anything about building shelter out of rocks and leaves?"
"Fine! Be secretive!" Blaine exclaims, a bit over dramatically. "Keep going on about survival stuff when I'm trying to have a serious discussion about what's wrong with you! I mean, you're acting like the world's going to end!"
Wes' face whites out as soon as soon as Blaine says 'the world is going to end' and Blaine flinches because he's pretty sure he has an idea of what's wrong now, but it's ludicrous and clearly the result of an overactive imagination coupled with a sinking feeling of dread in his stomach.
"Wes," Blaine says. His voice is soft now and he's waiting for Wes to deny it, waiting for Wes to say the world isn't going to end.
Wes looks back to his desk and doesn't say a word. Blaine's stomach tightens.
Blaine finally checks his text message from earlier and blinks in surprise. Kurt's sent him a single line of text: love you.
Blaine isn't sure where it came from, but he thinks about Wes' face earlier. He's pretty sure the world isn't going to end, that Wes has probably just finally snapped from college applications and Warblers and the academic load at Dalton.Love you too, silly.
Blaine wakes up to find Wes pacing back and forth across his tiny dorm room. Back and forth, back and forth. He doesn't seem to realize that Blaine is awake, watching him as he paces, and Blaine adds it to his mental tally of Weird Things Wes Is Doing
. At this point the list is insanely long and Blaine has started to consider body snatchers as a viable explanation.
"Pack a bag." Wes startles Blaine out of his introspection. "Only essentials-and keep it light."
Blaine blinks. "Are we going on a trip?" He asks, voice muddled and harsh from a night of poor sleep.
Wes shakes his head. "I'll be back in 15 minutes, be ready." He's out the door before Blaine can even process that he was there to begin with.
"Phone." Wes commands, holding out his hand.
Blaine looks at him and then shrugs, digging his cell out of his pocket and placing it in Wes' hand with exaggerated care. Wes shakes his head and tosses it onto Blaine's bed.
"Let's go." He walks out the door without waiting for Blaine to respond. Blaine leaves his phone on the bed, and doesn't lock his door.
The sinking feeling in his stomach is twisting now, and he's pretty sure he'd be throwing up, if he actually had anything in his stomach.
The building is crowded with teenage girls, all incredibly beautiful and surprisingly strong. Blaine tries not to stare as one girl pulls an axe and a sword out of a beat up duffel. She looks surprisingly natural, holding the sword in her right hand while slinging the axe into a complicated leather contraption that hangs over her shoulder.
Wes touches his shoulder and jerks his head towards a blindingly white building. There's a thick line of something
surrounding it and Wes indicates that Blaine needs to step over it without disturbing a single crystal. Blaine follows his example, trying hard not to feel foolish with the exaggerated care Wes is demonstrating.
They walk up to the front doors and Wes holds his hand in front of him. Blaine blinks as Wes, and then Blaine, is surrounded by a golden glow. For some length of time-a second or an eternity-Blaine feels at absolute peace and it terrifies him. His heart is racing and his palms are sweaty and he feels small
. He's never felt so insignificant before and it's heartbreaking and affirming at the same time.
"Did I ever tell you what my parents do?" Wes asks once the golden glow has disappeared.
Blaine shakes his head.
The room they're eventually placed in is crowded with family. Wes introduces Blaine to countless people-his parents, his cousins, some people Wes says are so close they're practically cousins. There aren't any windows and the bathroom is tiny, crowded into the back corner, almost as an afterthought. Bunks line each side of the room, climbing the high walls. It's unlike anything Blaine has ever seen before.
"Welcome to the end of the world," a tiny red head says from the front of the room. Her face is smiling but her expression is grim and Blaine feels uncomfortable at the juxtaposition. "I know it's crowded, but we have a very limited amount of space available to us for the spell."
Blaine takes a deep breath and then lets it out. Wes had explained everything earlier, looking apologetic and bitterly terrified, but Blaine hadn't processed it yet. Magic, vampires, demons, apocalypse season, dimensional travel. That the red-head in front of him is the person who made all of this possible, the person who'd realized the need for backup troops and a safe zone for the front lines to retreat to, when-no, if,
Blaine's mind insists-the worst ends up happening.
There's a smattering of applause when the red head-Willow-stops speaking, but it's light and feels entirely inappropriate given the situation. Wes and Blaine look at each other.
Suddenly, the crowded room is silent and all Blaine can hear is his own heartbeat.
It takes a second before Blaine realizes what it means: it's started
. His stomach twists and his he wishes Kurt was there, to hold his hand. He'd feel better if Kurt was there. He'd feel better knowing Kurt was safe, alive.
"Why me?" Blaine asks. Wes doesn't answer, but Blaine tries not to let that discourage him. "Why not David or Thad or Flint?" Wes doesn't even look up. "Is it because I knew that rhyme about berries? Because I'm not sure the same berries are poisonous in alternate dimensions." Blaine's rambling by this point, but it's welcome because otherwise he'd be thinking. Thinking about things that he left behind, people he left behind. Kurt
his mind supplies and suddenly he's blinking back tears.
"Why did you ask about building shelter?" Blaine tries again. "These...capsules?" He asks because they're buildings but they're not, they were built on a special foundation and that line Blaine had had to step over had something to do with it.
He hadn't listened, really, when Wes and the red-head explained things. He figures he has all the time in the world, now, to listen.
He wishes Kurt was the one ignoring him, not Wes, but as soon as that thought crosses his mind he blinks it back. Kurt isn't here, Kurt can't be here. Wes is the one who's parents were watchers, Wes is the one that had known what was going on, Wes is the one in front of him that's smiling a little and Blaine isn't sure what that means because he's pretty sure nobody is supposed to smile at the end of the world.
"There were four capsules," Wes suddenly says.
Blaine nods. "Okay." He looks around but he's pretty sure he only sees one.
"They aren't all here, they didn't all go to the same place." Wes continues.
Blaine nods again. He's pretty sure Wes is going somewhere with this.
"Did you know Santana is a vampire slayer?" Wes adds. "Her capsule was the smallest, could only hold a couple dozen people."
Blaine chokes at this knowledge: "Santana? A vampire slayer?" He thinks about it and it makes a surprising amount of sense. But then he goes back to the rest of what Wes had said. Small capsule, another place-dimension
-his brain supplies. He wonders who Santana would have chosen to take with her, besides Brittany, and his mind blinks.
Wes doesn't answer, just smiles, and the twisty feeling in Blaine's stomach disappears.