Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
Francey cursed under her breath as she glanced around the noisy school auditorium. She'd sent her little brother out to the dumpster ten minutes ago to throw out some broken plywood from the set. Everyone involved in the Christmas show had to participate in set strike, even punky little freshmen boys.
She set down her screw gun. "I'm going to go look for Blaine," she called to her director, who was struggling with a particularly stubborn flat. "Be right back."
She hopped off the stage and strolled to the side exit. Cold December air hit her harshly, making her shiver, but she was only going to be out for a few minutes. Blaine was probably just dawdling. Distracted by something shiny. That's what happens when you're a fourteen-year-old boy.
She rounded the corner towards the dumpster and stopped dead in her tracks. Several older guys, her classmates, surrounded a prone figure crumpled on the ground. "What the hell are you doing?" she demanded.
No. No. It's not him. It's not him.
The boys backed off, their varsity jackets hunching off their guilty slumped shoulders. Their eyes had gone wide in the faint lights of the parking lot. She could see the figure out the ground clearly- small, dark haired, dressed in jeans and a once-white tee shirt. It was splattered with red.
Fear tightened her heart. "You bastards, what did you do to him?" she demanded, her voice rising as she took a threatening step forward. "He's fourteen, you retards, he couldn't have done anything to you."
Blaine's shoulderblades shifted, like he was trying to get up, and he collapsed on his stomach, his head striking the asphalt. He was weak, and defeated, and he was hurting. And he was her baby brother.
Francey saw red. She lunged forward, striking blinding at the stupid, gawping jackasses. "You bastards," she screamed, her fist connecting to a jawline with a firm thwack. "You bastards, he's a kid! He's just a fucking kid!"
The assholes ran away like the cowards they were. Francey clenched her fists, preparing to run after them, but no. Blaine. She couldn't leave Blaine.
She knelt down beside him, gravel biting into her knees, and turned him over carefully, one hand cupped around his neck and the other holding to his hip. He cried out as she rolled him onto his back, his right knee twisting limply.
"It's okay, it's okay," Francey said hastily. She scanned him up and down- the blood on his face, his shirt, his jeans- -and cupped his face in her hands. His amber eyes were dark and unfocused. "Shit, where's all the blood coming from?"
"My knee hurts," he whimpered.
She rocked back on her heels to look him over and her stomach turned. Splintered plywood jutted out of his knee; the gash gushed blood over his clothes, forming a puddle under him. Blaine pushed himself up on his elbows to get a better look and the color drained from his face. He grabbed onto her arm, panic-stricken. "Shit, baby," she said in a low voice, unable to tear her eyes away. "Don't freak out, okay?"
She wrapped her arm around his shoulders and supported him into a sitting position. His head lolled to the side. "Francey, I don't feel good," he mumbled.
"Yeah, no shit, Sherlock," she said, tilting his chin to get better look in his eyes. Shit. His pupils were completely uneven. Concussion. "Come on, baby. We're going to get you to the ER. Hold onto me, okay?"
He wrapped his arms around her neck as she tried to pull him up to his feet. His chin trembled, and suddenly he started to cry, burying his face in her shoulder. She sank to her knees, hugging him to her chest. "Don't cry, Blaine," she said firmly. "Don't cry. I'm here, and it's going to be okay. So don't cry."
Blaine couldn't stop crying. He huddled in her arms, sobbing as if his heart was broken. Francey raked her fingers through his curls. "Sh, sh, sh," she crooned. "Sh, baby, you're going to be okay." She glanced back at the auditorium, debating if she should try to get help there. But no, she couldn't leave Blaine.
His crying turned uncontrollable, high pitched and frantic, tears soaking into her tee shirt. He was on the verge of a panic attack, Francey realized, and she wrapped her arms around him tighter. "Come on, Blaine," she said. "Get up. You have to get up, Blaine."
"I can't," he sobbed, hanging limply in her grip. "I don't wanna get up. I wanna die. Lemme die."
Chills shot down her spine. "No!" she said fiercely. "No, you're not going to die." She wrapped her arms under his armpits and across his chest. "Get the fuck up, Blaine."
She pulled him up, balancing him gingerly on one foot while his injured leg dangled uselessly. "We need to get you to the hospital," she said. "Lean on me. Come on, sweetheart, lean on my shoulder."
Blaine's weight fell against her, heavy and feverish. His hands clung to her shirt, pulling accidentally on her hair. Blood dripped down his leg and soaked into his once-white socks. "Just keep going," Francey encouraged, holding onto his waist. "One step at a time, honey. That's it."
Blaine's head drooped forward as he struggled to walk. His breathing came in short labored pants, rasping in the back of his throat. "Almost there," Francey encouraged, her eyes glued to her yellow car, just a few yards away. "Come on. You can do it."
They were nearly close enough to touch the car when Blaine fell forward hard, his eyes rolling back in his head. "No!" Francey shouted, startled. "No no no no. No."
She struggled to keep him upright, but he was barely holding onto consciousness. "Come on, Blaine. Look at me. Look at me, baby." She fumbled for the keys in her pocket and unlocked the doors. "Get in the car. Just get in the car, okay? It's all going to be okay."
She tucked her hands under his armpits and hoisted him into the front seat, her hands shaking. He slumped in the seat as she reached across him to flick on the overhead lights and recoiled sharply. She had never seen so much blood before.
Blaine leaned back, head tilted at an awful angle and his chest heaving with unsteady breaths. Francey leaned over him and rummaged in her messy backseat, coming up with an old scarf and an older hoodie, one she vaguely remembered borrowing from an ex-boyfriend. "All right, Babbie," she said, unfolding the scarf and smoothing it out. "If this hurts, I'm sorry, but I can't help it."
She started wrapping the scarf around the piece of plywood sticking out his knee like a beacon, bracing it on all sides and covering the bleeding edges. Blaine whimpered, biting down on his lower lip. "There we go," she murmured, wrapping the scarf tightly to staunch the flow of blood. "There. Better."
She tucked the edges under, buckled him into the seat, and draped the oversized hoodie around him. "Just sit still, okay? We're going to be at the hospital soon."
She crossed around to the driver's seat, dug the key into the ignition as the engine roared to life, and peeled out of the parking lot. Blaine slumped back in the seat, his bandaged leg sticking out stiffly in front of him. Francey reached over to smooth her hand across his uninjured knee, her fingers brushing against pockets of drying blood. "You're going to be fine, honey," she reassured him. "I promise. You're going to be fine."
Blaine said nothing during the entire drive, save the occasional stifled whimper when she took a turn too fast or thumped over a speedbump. She pulled crookedly into a parking space outside the emergency room and jumped out of the car, yanking his door open and reaching for him. "Come on, baby, we're here," she coaxed. She tucked her hands under his arms, lifting him like he was a child. "Let's go. You're going to be okay."
Blaine obeyed her stiffly, resting heavily on her arms. She tried to pick him up, but he was too limp and heavy, so she settled for wrapping an arm around his waist, and letting him lean on her shoulders.
The emergency room was in chaos. People were everywhere- the injured, the sick, a handful of police officers. Francey helped Blaine into an empty seat, glaring at a bored child using the chairs like a jungle gym, and ran up to the front desk. "I need to sign my brother in, he's hurt," she told the nurse behind the desk. "He's bleeding really badly, he has a concussion-"
"Honey, just sign in and wait," the nurse said, clearly distracted. "There's an accident on the interstate, we've got five cars' worth of people to sort and treat. Sign in and we'll get to him in a second."
The irritated nurse handed her a clipboard and moved to help a clearly hysterical middle-aged woman. Francey swore loudly, briefly contemplated flipping her middle finger, and finally stormed back to Blaine. "Fucking stupid administration," she grumbled under her breath as she plunked down beside him. "I have to…Blaine?" She set the clipboard aside and touched his cheek. "Honey, look at me. Are you all right?"
He stared blankly at his bloodstained jeans, his lower lip trembling. "I w-want M-Mama," he whimpered, his shoulders twitching. "I don't feel good…"
She wanted to cry at the look on his face. "I'll tell her to come," she promised, brushing his hair back. "Just don't cry, okay? You're going to be fine."
He hunched in his chair, his bandaged leg dragging limply against the floor. Francey pulled her phone out of her pocket and stared at it. How was she supposed to call her parents and tell them that hey, the baby just got gay-bashed, you mind coming to the hospital?
How was she supposed to tell them that it was her fault?
She pushed the thought away and started a new text message to send to both of her parents.
B in the ER at St. Anns. Hurry plz.
It was a stupid move, a coward's move, but she couldn't bring herself to call them.
Suddenly Blaine convulsed slightly, his head bobbing forward, and he threw up all over the front of his hoodie. Francey started, pulling him back as he started to cry again. "You're okay," she reassured him, smoothing his thick curls. "Honey, it's okay. You're just hurt, that's all. Stay here, I'll take care of this."
It broke her heart to leave him there, but she stormed up to the front. "Excuse me!" she demanded. "My little brother needs medical attention, now."
"Honey, everybody here needs medical attention," the nurse said absently, rifling through a thick stack of paperwork and sorting it into files. "That's why it's an emergency room. Fill out your paperwork, turn it in, we'll have you in as soon as we can."
"No!" Francey insisted, slamming her fist down on the counter. "I'm fine, it's my little brother. He's fourteen years old, he was beaten up in a parking lot, he's covered in blood and crying for his mother and he just threw up because I'm pretty damn sure he has a concussion, and if you don't fucking do something soon then I'm going to…to…"
She couldn't come up with an appropriate punishment so she stopped, sputtering helplessly in pure anger. She knew she was causing a scene, and she didn't care.
"We can put him in a triage room till the doctor can see him," the nurse relented. "That one, number two. I'll move him up on the list."
Too relieved to thank her, Francey darted back to Blaine. "All right, honey, get up," she coaxed. "One last time. I promise. Come on, sweetheart."
He moaned, struggling to stand. Francey helped him to his feet and helped him to the triage room. "Just a few more steps," she urged, letting him lean the weight off his injured leg and onto her shoulder. "You can do this, honey. I know you can. You're brave."
She closed the triage door and lifted him onto the edge of the bed before tugging his sick-stained hoodie off and tossing it on the floor. "Lie down," she said. "Do you feel like you're going to throw up again?"
"No, just…tired," Blaine sighed, closing his eyes. "Is Mama coming?"
"She's coming, baby, but don't fall asleep," Francey said. "You don't want to do that. I'll pinch you if you do."
Blaine didn't smile. He looked so young lying there, his face pale and pinched and his clothes soaked with blood. "When do I get to feel better?" he murmured.
"Soon," Francey promised. She pulled up a chair and sat beside him, lacing her fingers through his and pressing her lips to his scraped forehead. "They're going to come and stitch you up and give you all sorts of fucking awesome pain meds that'll make everything feel better."
He still didn't smile. Her heart ached. Blaine always smiled. Even when he was a toddler and knocked his front teeth out on the coffee table, even when he came down with chicken pox in third grade, even when he came home from school with insults scribbled over his backpack and his possessions missing. At this point, she would do whatever it took to make him smile again.
"Why me?" he asked, small and forlorn.
She tangled her fingers in his shaggy hair. "Why you what?" she said.
"Why do they think it's okay to hurt me?"
Francey froze. "It's not okay," she said. "It's not fucking okay that they did this. They deserve to rot in hell for doing this to you."
"But they won't," Blaine said in a tired, world-weary voice. "No one cares."
"I care," she said fiercely. "I love you, Blaine. I love you so much."
Tears still rolled down his cheeks. "No one else will," he whispered.
Francey gripped his hands. "Baby, stop," he begged. "Please, stop." She pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Sh, sh, sh, just lie still. I'll sing to you. Do you want me to sing?"
Without waiting for a reply she started singing to him, keeping her voice gentle and soothing. The lines around Blaine's eyes relaxed. She sang everything she could think of- Christmas songs, pop songs, Disney songs. She sang until her voice faded, growing hoarser and hoarser, and at last the door burst open.
"Mr. Anderson, this is-"
"Why the hell haven't you been treating my son?" Jack Anderson demanded, pushing past the doctor.
Lilah Anderson brushed past them and gathered Blaine into her arms; Francey let go limply of his hand and took a step back. "Blaine, Mama's here," she said, cuddling him to her chest. Blaine grabbed onto the front of her dress, burying his face in her neck. She rocked him gently like she used to when he was very small. "Sh, baby, don't cry."
Francey stumbled back, leaning against the wall as her father berated the hospital staff and her mother rocked her sobbing brother and the doctor probed at Blaine's bloody knee. She sank down into a chair in the corner.
Right now they were going to fix Blaine. That mattered the most. But eventually they'd think to ask her about what happened. Who hurt him. Why he was alone. Why he left the auditorium.
Francey hunched forward and buried her face in her hands.
This is all my fault.
Oh, geez. Francey angst.
his was inspired by a review I got for Tumbled, suggesting this as a drabble. It turned out to be way, way, way too long for a drabble, so here it is as a oneshot!
And if you're slightly confused, read chapter 3 of "Knife Going In." That was written long before the Prom Queen episode, and I wrote my own backstory for Blaine.
But yes, I do think that Francey still blames herself for what happened to her baby brother. And I don't think it ever even crossed Blaine's mind to think that Francey was at fault. Poor sweet Anderson siblings...