Title: Abraham’s Children
Summary: Part 2b of 2. Hunger Games AU. Hunger Games AU. Kurt Hummel, a volunteer from District 8 wanders about the foggy forests of the Game, forming alliances, dodging Careers, and wondering what exactly went wrong between himself and the sword-wielding District 2 tribute, Blaine Anderson. And then they end up stuck together in a cave.
Banner by mish-mish!
Betaed by the lovely Lira!
Kurt awoke to the anthem blaring and saw Blaine jump awake as well. He hissed in pain but Kurt was glad to see that Blaine was nowhere near in as much pain as his sobs had indicated earlier.
Kurt hopped up and ran to the scorched dark entrance of the cave to catch the update projected into the sky.
Well, he got one of his wishes.
Harmony was the first face shown, meaning Sebastian and Jesse were still out there. He held his breath as he waited for the other two:
The blonde boy from District 6 whose name he had never managed to remember.
Mercedes from 9. He felt a brief pang of sadness He felt a brief pang of sadness as he remembered their time at the edible plants station but sighed in relief at the knowledge that San and Tina were still out there and alive.
“How many?” Blaine whispered hoarsely from his makeshift bed.
“Three,” Kurt muttered as he walked back to sit by Blaine again. “That blonde boy from 6—”
“Sam,” Blaine murmured quietly.
“Sam,” Kurt nodded. “Mercedes from 9 and… Harmony.”
“Good,” Blaine said, wrinkling his nose as he carefully sat up, minding his back. “Never liked her. She thought she was the best fisher in 4, but could only catch minnows.”
“Then why were you allied with her?” Kurt said before he could really think it through.
Blaine shrugged. “We’re Careers. We’re supposed to be.”
“That’s stupid,” Kurt said, his anger rising again. “Why not just choose who you want to be with?”
Blaine snorted. “You wouldn’t understand. It’s expected of us to join up with the others. It’s what we’re trained to do, from the day we’re born. I was always going to end up with the Careers.”
“Then why did you ask me to be your ally?” Kurt said lowly.
Blaine sighed. “I’ve told you a hundred times, Kurt. Because I wanted you to be.”
“But why even ask?” Kurt exploded. “If you were always going to end up with the Career pack in the end, why did you ask me and train me and ignore what’s expected of you if none of it was going to matter in the end anyway?”
“Because I couldn’t let you go into the arena unprepared!” Blaine yelled. “You wouldn’t have lasted the first hour!”
“But why me?” Kurt yelled desperately, sick of their verbal dance. “What’s your angle? Why do you want me as an ally, it just doesn’t make sense!”
“Because I care about you!” Blaine shouted. “Jesus, Kurt, is that really so hard for you to comprehend? I don’t want you as an ally because of your skills or because I think I could use you to win, I want you because I care about you and want to protect you and keep you close and safe and sound!” Blaine stared at him hopelessly, his green-gold eyes bright with tears. “That’s all I ever wanted, since I first saw you in the training room at the knot station.”
Kurt sat, wide-eyed and fists clenched against the stony ground. “But… that doesn’t make any sense. We didn’t know each other. Why would you want to protect me if you’d never met me before?”
Blaine laughed, but there was no humor to it. “You really still don’t recognize me? I thought you would without the hair gel.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The square knot,” Blaine said simply.
Kurt’s brow furrowed. “The square knot?”
“You’ve known how to tie that knot since you were six.”
Kurt blinked. “How did you know —”
“Because it’s the first knot you ever taught me.”
“Yeah,” Kurt nodded. “Back in the training room.”
“No. When I was seven.”
Blaine looked up from his pieces of rope, hiding them quickly behind his back. “Yes, father?”
His father sternly looked down his nose at him. “What are you doing?”
“Just…” he gulped. “Just an exercise for class.”
He saw the smack across his head coming.
“I can’t believe that you still haven’t conquered the most basic knot!” his father snapped.
“I’m sorry!” Blaine squealed and cowered. “I just… I just need a bit of help —”
“Andersons don’t need help!” His father sighed. “I just don’t see why you can’t be more like Cooper.”
And there it is. The words that always stung the deepest.
“Wait here, Blaine,” his father muttered as he pushed Blaine into a chair.
Blaine sighed. He always had to go with his father to deliver the Peacekeeper weapons because it was apparently “learning experience” that he needed for class. But in actuality it was really boring. So he took out his rope again and tried to figure out the knot.
“No, silly! It’s like this!” Small, pale hands took the rope from him and twisted it perfectly into a square knot. The hands undid the rope and put it back into his. Then they molded his hands and fingers along the rope and bent them until he made a lopsided — but complete — square knot. “See?” the voice giggled. “Not that hard, is it?”
Blaine looked up to see a young boy around his age. He had soft-looking brown hair and big blue eyes that were actually really pretty. He grinned at Blaine. He had small teeth. Blaine said the first thing that popped into his head. “My name’s Blaine.” He stuck out his hand.
The boy smiled, shaking his hand. “Kurt.”
Blaine smiled back nervously. “So, um… what are you doing here, Kurt?”
“This is my first time in District 2!” Kurt said excitedly. “Your clothes here are a lot nicer than the ones at home. But my mommy and daddy work in the textile factory and they were chosen to deliver the Peacekeeper uniforms so I got to take a whole day off school and come with them!” He wrinkled his nose. “The ride over was really scary, but mommy sang me a lullaby and I felt better.”
Blaine blinked at the odd boy who seemed so happy and full of energy. He wondered what it’d be like if his mother sang to him when he was scared. He quietly laughed bitterly at the thought, there was no way that would ever happen. “How does the song go?”
Kurt hopped up next to him and began ooing and ahhing and slowly taught Blaine the lullaby about safety and reassurance. Blaine slowly circled his fingers around Kurt’s wrist, liking the feel and touch and security that the contact gave him.
“I have to go now!” Kurt said as a woman and man appeared — obviously his parents. “But I’m really glad you’re my friend, Blaine!” He gave Blaine a hug and ran off, leaving him speechless.
Kurt stared at Blaine as he finished his story. There was no way… But something in the back of Kurt’s mind sparked up because what he said sounded accurate and also oddly familiar and —
“At least your parents loved you enough to keep you close and sing you lullabies when you were scared!”
“The hallway…” Kurt murmured, pressing a hand to his mouth. “When I told you why I volunteered. You… you knew about my mom singing to me…”
“Whoops,” Blaine grimaced. “Must’ve let that one slip.”
“Why didn’t you just tell me?” Kurt whispered.
“I guess…” Blaine sighed in frustration. “I guess that I just wanted you to figure it out on your own. I mean… I knew who you were from the second I watched your reaping tape and then you were there in the training room, so I sat next to you and pretended to fumble through the square knot —”
“Oh my god, you were joking,” Kurt realized.
Blaine smiled. “Yeah. But then you did and said pretty much the same thing you had ten years ago, so I thought you’d recognize me once you look up, but… you didn’t.”
“I…” Kurt honestly didn’t know what he was going to say. All the revelations were still washing over him. “So what happens now?”
“I don’t know!” Blaine admitted with a laugh. “Late dinner?”
Kurt snorted, but pulled the backpack over and took out the fish, the celery, and the weird pink fruit. “What is this?”
Blaine quirked any eyebrow. “You’ve seriously never seen a pomegranate before?” He took the small knife and cut it in sixths, shucking all the seeds out of it.
Kurt picked up one of the odd jewel-like kernels and popped it into his mouth, surprised at the taste.
Blaine laughed at his expression. “Here.” He divided up the fruit, fish, and vegetables and slid half of it to Kurt.
“No,” Kurt protested. “You’re injured, you need more —”
“No,” Blaine said firmly. “You need to keep your strength up. If someone finds us, or we get into trouble, I can’t help you.”
Kurt was still hesitant, but he nodded, accepting his share of the food.
They ate in silence, the uncertainty of their situation weighing heavily down on them. “We should, um…” Kurt cleared his throat. “We should get some rest.”
Blaine nodded in agreement, hissing as he eased himself down.
Kurt bit his lips. “One moment.”
He ran out of the cave. From what he could see most of the foliage on the bushes and trees was as springy and green as when he’d first seen them at the cornucopia, but in lieu of the cool hazy fog from before, there was a thick toxic smog. Pressing his now dry shirt over his mouth, he ran over to the nearest tree and grabbed at one of the small lower branches, snapping it off. He was heading back to the cave when the ferns caught his eye. Remembering something his mother said about them when he was young, he grabbed a handful of the leafy plants and headed back inside, coughing the smoke out of his lungs.
Blaine was sitting propped up, looking worriedly at him. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Kurt rasped and coughed again. “It’s just a bit smokey out there. Weird that the air’s fine in here.”
“It’s the arena,” Blaine said. “They give us a couple of safe places for us to try and find.”
“How did you know about this one?” Kurt asked, remembering the way Blaine had led them expertly through the forest and to this cave.
Blaine smiled. “Something Cooper told me.”
Kurt wanted to ask what, but Blaine was settling back down on his jacket with his back twitching. Kurt gave him the short stubby branch. “Here, bite down on this. This’ll probably hurt a bit.” Blaine accepted it apprehensively. Kurt glanced around, but all of his shirts were now dry. The only thing left that was damp was his pants…
He sighed and stripped his pants off. Blaine eyed him appreciatively. “So… what exactly is it that we’re going to be doing?”
“Well, I’m going to be wringing all of the alcohol out of my pants onto your back to make sure that it’s really disinfected,” Kurt retorted.
Blaine immediately blanched. “Oh…okay.”
“Then I’m going to see if the spores on these ferns will help.” Kurt held them up for emphasis. “My mom used them on me to treat stings a few times, and they survived the fire, so I guess it’s worth a shot.”
Blaine nodded. “Okay, let’s… let’s just get it over with.” He put the branch between his teeth and laid down flat on his stomach.
Kurt took a deep breath before lifting his pants and wringing out all the moisture he could. Blaine shrieked, but it wasn’t as soul-splitting as it had been earlier. Kurt mostly felt sorry for his vocal chords.
The alcohol caused the skin on Blaine’s back to redden even further but then there was a low hissing noise and smoky gas exhaled out of the pollen. Kurt assumed that it meant that everything was fine now, so he picked up one of the fern branches and laid it, pollen-side down, on Blaine’s back.
Blaine hissed at the contact, then relaxed. Encouraged, Kurt picked up the other three branches and laid them across Blaine’s back. The tension from his body eased and he melted against his jacket. “Thank you, Kurt,” he whispered once he let the piece of wood drop from his mouth.
Kurt nodded, stroking his hair and his cheek. He pressed a small kiss just under Blaine’s eye. “Go to sleep, Blaine.”
“Willya… will you sing?”
Kurt blinked and hesitated. “Sing what?”
“Tha… that lullaby… from when we were young…”
“Okay” Kurt whispered, lying down next to Blaine. “Don’t you dare look out your window darling; everything’s on fire. The war outside our door keeps raging on.”
Blaine hummed contentedly along, scooting closer to Kurt and nuzzling against his bare shoulder.
Kurt smiled, stroking his hair. “Hold onto this lullaby, even when the music’s gone… gone… Just close your eyes, the sun is going down. You’ll be alright, no one can hurt you now. Come morning light, you and I’ll be safe and sound…”
Kurt looked down at the sleeping boy nestled against him and smiled. “Goodnight Blaine,” he whispered and kissed him gently on the lips.
A hand wrapped around the back of his neck and tugged him closer. He yelped in surprise as Blaine rolled over on top of him and deepened the kiss. But it wasn’t like the other two times — it was soft and slow and sweet. Kurt hesitantly brought his hands to the top of Blaine’s shoulders, not wanting to irritate his back, as their lips moved lazily together.
Before too long, the couple dozed off, their bodies and heads close so their lips stayed on each other.
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