now I have a sad.
(In my headcanon she died on May 12, 2002, a month after Kurt’s eighth birthday. And I have a full and complete headcanon about how she died. And now I am SO SAD.)
Author’s Note & Disclaimer: Hello, everyone! This fic for Caitlin is inspired by John Green’s novel “The Fault In Our Stars”. I’m going to try and post a new chapter every Sunday.
I will keep the basic storyline the same while adding in various characters and elements from “Glee”, along with some of original ideas of my own.
These are also some Klaine/”The Fault In Our Stars” manips that provided me some inspiration:
Here is also the corresponding character list that parallels the “Glee” characters to those in the book:
Hazel Grace Lancaster: Blaine Anderson
Augustus Waters: Kurt Hummel
Isaac: Sam Evans
Peter Van Houten: Carmen Tibideaux
Lidewij Vliengenthart: Rachel Berry
Patrick: Will Schuester
Monica: Mercedes Jones
“Glee” belongs to Ryan Murphy and FOX.
“The Fault In Our Stars” belongs to John Green.
All future chapter epigraphs belong to their original authors.
The aforementioned manips belong to their respective creators.
No copyright infringement is intended or inferred.
I: The Color Purple
If I’m really a lily of the field
You will answer my prayer
Or you’re no God at all
~”Lily Of The Field” from the musical The Color Purple
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson determined that their son Blaine was clinically depressed. They decided this after finding that he spent all his time within the confines of his bedroom re-reading Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and watching both the bootlegged YouTube clips of Carmen Tibideaux’s award-winning performance on Broadway secretly filmed in the early years of her career and the film where she reprised the role of Celie.
Furthermore, Blaine’s well-intentioned parents became rather concerned that he only left his bedroom to eat meals, use the restroom, and shower.
However, he was perfectly content staying in his room. The young man found Carmen Tibideaux’s performances in The Color Purple so mesmerizing and heartfelt. They were also incredibly sad, but in a beautiful way.
Blaine admired Celie’s humanity and that she wasn’t a bullshitter. Celie admitted that life sucked a lot of the time and that it was hard seeing the beauty amidst the tribulations faced.
Blaine liked that.
The sixteen-year-old was well into his third year battling Stage IV Thyroid Cancer. His mother and older half-brother Cooper meant well in marking his so-called “progress.” They said he was that much closer to a cure after living with his illness for three years.
Yet Blaine felt that their intentions, though goodhearted, were purely misguided.
The young man didn’t call lugging around two liters of oxygen and being strapped to a cannula progress. He called it prolonging the inevitable.
He couldn’t even breathe on his own.
While Blaine liked getting lost in Alice Walker’s world, Cooper called from his bachelor pad in Los Angeles, spouting off motivational quotes that did nothing. His mother bought “inspirational” books filled with cancer survivor stories and suggested that he enroll in school again. She wanted her son to have friends. She wanted him to get out of the house and see the world versus staying inside all day.
Blaine wondered if his mother forgot what happened the last time he attended school.
Either god had a really sick sense of humor or let the entire gay population slip off the divine radar in lieu of Joel Osteen and other born-again televangelists who made their living off exploiting people.
In a cruel twist of fate, the teenager became both a victim of bullying and a cancer patient all in the same night.
It turned out that the doctor who oversaw the extensive injuries Blaine sustained at that nearly fatal Sadie Hawkins dance also had the wisdom to run additional tests with the intent of checking for any internal damage.
Nobody anticipated the Stage IV Thyroid Cancer hiding inside him along with the concussion, broken bones, bruised limbs, black eyes, and physical scarring he sustained at the dance that evening.
It turned out Blaine had the symptoms for quite a while; but what thirteen-year-old knew that neck and ear pain, a hoarse voice, and a persistent cough were indicators of cancer?
His father sued the school and each of the tormentor’s families in what soon became the stuff of courtroom drama as seen only on television.
Blaine’s attackers were expelled during the aftermath of the Sadie Hawkins dance and the trial that followed. The actions committed that night were placed on their permanent records and would inevitably follow them to their new schools. Their new principals and teachers, along with future college admissions officers, would not look kindly on them for their cruelty.
Even so, that inevitability was not enough for Blaine’s father.
He didn’t just prosecute the school and the families of those who attacked his son. He also hired the best lawyer in the state who spun an argument so convincing that it carted the bullies off to juvenile hall. Moreover, Blaine’s father bled their parents and the school completely dry in reparations.
Blaine and his family received obscene amounts of money as a result, but most of it was gone now. There were legal fees from the trial and treatment was expensive even with good insurance. More often than not, it seemed that the young man was getting worse instead of better. Since being diagnosed, he had a variety of scares that nearly killed him and resulted in countless hospital stays.
Blaine’s dad had always been a quiet man. He was never one for words and remained silent when Blaine first came out.
The cancer only catapulted him towards further soundlessness and increased hours at work.
Thank God Blaine had Francey.
His older sister was not only brutally honest, but she didn’t throw fake happiness and rays of sunshine at him, expecting them to magically cure his cancer.
Instead, she brought him pints of Ben & Jerry’s, Cranium, Spider-Man comic books, and the boxed sets of classic movies and musicals. Francey let Blaine lick the spoon and bowl when she made chocolate chip cookies and filled his ears with celebrity gossip.
Like Celie, Francey didn’t bullshit things; and for that, Blaine was grateful.
Thus, the young man was less than thrilled when his mother dragged him to see his doctor, who was practically a member of the Anderson family at that point. He oversaw Blaine’s cancer since the beginning and also reached the conclusion that he suffered from clinical depression.
In addition to providing the teenager with antidepressants, he also referred the teenager to a therapist Blaine saw each Tuesday at the hospital and a cancer support group for teens that met every Thursday in Lima.
His mother was thrilled upon hearing the doctor’s recommendations, never mind that Lima was nearly two hours away. She just saw it as a way for him to get out of the house.
He’d been going ever since.
It was a gloomy Thursday in the middle of May. Rather than debating with Francey over whether Andrew Garfield made a better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire, Blaine found himself in the car driving to Lima with his mother. She sang along to an oldies radio station as he adjusted his cannula. It consisted of two prongs inside his nostrils that wrapped behind his ears, split at his neck, and was connected to the oxygen tank that had become like an extra limb to him since the numberless radioactive iodine, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments failed to do much of anything.
The cancer support group met inside a nondenominational church building long since abandoned. Rumor had it that the city bought the space and planned on turning it into a rec center at some point. However, nothing had come of it so far. Since then, a variety of fringe religions took it upon themselves to meet in the building throughout the week and fight over whose Jesus was better one.
Sometimes, the teenager could hear them arguing with each other during support group.
The irony alone made Blaine sick to his stomach. He wondered if he went because it actually helped, or because it kept his mother and her sugarcoating at bay.
She turned into the parking lot and said, “I’ll see you in an hour! I’ll park and wait for you here.”
“Are you sure?” Blaine asked. “You could go to the mall or something… maybe even get a pillow monogrammed with an inspirational saying?”
“Very funny,” she said, but smiled nonetheless. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” the teenager said while he opened the door and lifted the oxygen tank out of the car.
He walked into the church with his oxygen tank rolling behind him and entered the rec room where the support group took place.
The chairs were placed in a circle and a table laden with store bought cookies and paper cups filled with McDonald’s orange drink was placed to the left. Will, the support group leader, stood in the center watching everyone with his too-big smile and obnoxious penchant for vests.
Blaine sat next to Sam, who wasn’t necessarily a friend of his. He was simply the least obnoxious and the mellowest of the support group members. He had shaggy blonde hair that covered his missing eye and always greeted Blaine with a smile.
Blaine nodded at Sam and found his gaze falling upon a young man sitting across from him.
He was the most beautiful person the teenager ever laid his eyes on.
His skin was fair and unblemished, with glasz eyes that pierced the very core of Blaine’s soul and perfectly coiffed light brown hair. He had lean muscle and angular, but nonetheless striking bone structure. He dressed fashionably in white skinny jeans, a light grey pea coat with gold buttons accessorized with a royal purple scarf, and matching Sperry top-siders.
Blaine smiled at him, feeling insecure with his overly gelled hair, plum bowtie with a white collared shirt and button-up argyle cardigan in shades of grey, black, and white. He also wore charcoal colored pants and laced loafers and had slightly swollen face from treatment. His cannula and oxygen tank felt more visible than it ever had before.
He sighed just as Will stood up and introduced himself once again, regaling to the few members his anal cancer sob story. Blaine knew all too well of the chemotherapy treatments that caused Will to lose his lustrous head of supposedly thick curls that never grew in again and how his ex-fiancée left him, unable to cope with having a cancer-stricken boyfriend. She married her handsome dentist boyfriend and left Will to fight his ass cancer by himself.
He also knew too much of Will’s failed Broadway dreams, his financial struggles, and how expensive treatment was.
Blaine wanted to roll his eyes, but didn’t. The young man didn’t want to be rude despite feeling that Will was being selfish. The teenager realized that the support group was more for Will to moan and groan about the trials cancer brought him than it was about the support group members. They had lost, too.
Blaine also had dreams of performing on the Great White Way once, but knew that was no longer an option. He couldn’t exactly belt show tunes with lungs that didn’t work properly.
After regaling his troubles, Will began the group meeting by having everyone hold hands and pray for those who long since passed. The first one on the list was Matt, who died a little over a year before Blaine began attending the support group. Then there was Lauren. Sugar had passed on next; she came from a wealthy family that donated money to the support group Will took complete advantage of. Blaine often suspected that the older man used the donations made by Sugar’s family for his own personal wants versus the needs of the support group members.
Mike came next, followed by Puck and Quinn with their on-again off-again romance. The last few names Will read off tugged at Blaine’s heartstrings, since they were all so young. Jake, Kitty, Marley, Wade, and Ryder were all three to four years younger than the group members who were still alive.
Yet they died before living up to their potential.
Will ended the prayer and had the group members introduce themselves once again. He turned to a bespectacled boy in a wheelchair and beckoned him to start.
The teenager waved and said, “What up? I’m Artie, age sixteen. I’ve had bone marrow cancer on and off since I was eight and I can’t walk anymore because of it.”
Everyone said hello to Artie before turning their attention towards Brittany. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in the second grade and was in remission for three and a half years before relapsing. Her second and most rigorous round of treatment proved successful and the cancer hadn’t returned since. Brittany was a sweet girl with a good heart, but was also naïve and extremely scatterbrained. She held hands with a pretty Latina girl who introduced herself next.
The young woman smiled widely and said, “I’m Santana and I just kicked Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in the ass. I can’t wait to reclaim my title as the head bitch in charge of William McKinley High School in September.” She then turned to the handsome boy who caught Blaine’s attention earlier and suggested, “Why don’t you go next, Porcelain?”
“I’m the new kid, Satan,” he said casually. “I’ll wait until everyone’s introduced themselves.”
“Suit yourself,” she shrugged before a quiet Asian girl cleared her throat and asked for everyone’s attention.
“I’m Tina and I’ve been living with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for about two years now.”
Blaine turned away from Tina just as he noticed her gaze resting on him. She had a crush on him despite knowing he was gay and pursued him even though he could never reciprocate her feelings. It was uncomfortable being around her. Tina was so forceful despite putting on a shy exterior and always wanted to get together with Blaine after support group ended. She suggested that they “hang out” on weekends in the guise of a date and it was nothing short of awkward.
Blaine ignored Tina’s omnipresent stare and focused on Sam.
“Hey everyone, my name is Sam Evans. I’m sixteen and I had eye cancer back in the day. I had to get my left eye cut out a while ago, but it’s been gone since then.”
When Sam finished introducing himself, Will nodded at Blaine.
The young man cleared his throat and said, “I’m Blaine. Sixteen. I was diagnosed with Stage IV Thyroid Cancer three years ago. It hasn’t gone away yet and my lungs don’t work, hence my cannula and this tank of oxygen I have to carry around… but I guess things could be worse. I’m doing okay.”
“Aren’t you something else.”
Blaine turned towards the voice and found the new kid staring at him. His arms were folded across his chest and he stared at the teenager with raised eyebrows.
Noticing this turn of events, Will suggested, “Why don’t you introduce yourself, Kurt?”
The young man sighed and gave everyone in the group a quick nod before saying, “I’m Kurt Hummel and I’m seventeen-years-old. I’ve been in remission from Osteosarcoma for fifteen months now and it cost me my left leg.” He rolled up his pants leg, showing a metal prosthetic and said, “Finding designer clothes to fit this thing can be a real bitch sometimes, but I prefer it to getting slushie facials and racking up hefty dry cleaning bills.”
“Welcome to the group,” Will said, uncertain of Kurt’s pronouncement. “Do you have anything more to add? Anything you want to say?”
“In all honesty, I think we’re all here simply because it was our parents’ idea,” he said. “I’m sure we’re all wondering if this is actually doing us any good.” He turned to Will and said, “I think this group is more for you than it is for any of us. You fear the same things we do – dying and being forgotten. None of us want to leave without having made a mark on the world. We want people to know who we were – and who we still are – when we die.”
“I don’t think it matters,” Blaine remarked. “Everybody dies. We just happen to be better at it, especially me. Civilizations have died out and completely wiped away the recollections of the people who lived in them. Sure, we may find an artifact here or there, but no one really remembers it. Nobody knows about them at all. When we die out completely, who will be around to remember us? No one. All that matters really is living the life the way you want to and not worrying about what people think, because life’s too short to even care at all.”
“Goddamn. You really are something else.”
“Okay,” Will breathed, clearly overwhelmed at Blaine’s pronouncement. “I think we’re done for today. Grab some cookies and punch on your way out and I’ll see everyone next week!”
He made his exit quickly, doing so whilst everyone else made their way over to the snack table. Blaine grabbed a sugar cookie, watching as Brittany and Santana held hands and gave each other Eskimo kisses. Artie tried flirting with Tina, who ignored him and Sam typed madly away on his cell phone.
He had a girlfriend. Her name was Mercedes and Sam swore they were in love and always would be.
Blaine wouldn’t know. He never had a boyfriend and the last date he went on resulted in him being a dual near casualty of gay bashing and cancer patient.
The young man took a bite of his cookie just as Kurt walked over to him. Holding out his hand, he said, “If you keep coming to these things, I will too.”
“What?” Blaine choked.
“You’re the only one worth coming for,” Kurt told him, grabbing Blaine’s hand and shaking it. “You’re genuine and really nice to look at. You’re beautiful.”
“Thank you,” he responded. “You’re… beautiful too.”
Kurt smiled at him and suggested that they go outside. Blaine nodded and felt embarrassed while pushing his oxygen tank behind him. He watched as Kurt still walked rather fluidly for someone with a fake leg and opened the door in front of them. They stepped outside and were greeted by Sam and Mercedes’ make-out session.
Kurt motioned for Blaine to follow him over to the bench in front of the flowerbed so they wouldn’t impose on the young couple “in love.” When they sat down, Kurt looked at him and said, “You’re a Young The Giant fan?”
“Yeah,” Blaine nodded. “They’re one of my favorites. Do you like them?”
“They’re pretty okay. My stepbrother Finn likes them a lot. He was on a Journey kick for a while and that got old fast.”
“Will likes them.”
Kurt laughed and said, “Thanks, Blaine. I now have all the more reason to get rid of Finn’s Journey memorabilia.” He paused before asking, “Are you from Lima?”
“You drive nearly two hours every week just for a support group?”
“It’s more for my mom than it is for me,” he answered. “She likes to think that I’m really getting better when I’m not. She thinks the support group is a good thing because it gets me out of the house once a week. My mom thinks it actually helps when it doesn’t, but it makes her happy… so I go. For her.”
“Is that her right there?” Kurt asked, indicating to the red mini-van not far from where they sat.
Blaine squinted and saw his mother smiling and waving to him excitedly from the inside.
He nodded before waving back.
Kurt turned to Blaine and suggested, “Why don’t you come have dinner at my house? I can drop you off afterwards so your mom won’t have to wait around.”
“You would make that drive… for me?”
“Yes,” the young man told him. “Like I said earlier… you’re beautiful and I love looking at you. I’m not going to deny myself that privilege.”
not particularly, but I’ll live. :)
I DIDN’T GET TO SEE THE EPISODE LAST NIGHT. SOBBING.
I’m not really at the point where I can “come out,” so to speak, about what particular illness I have. Maybe at some point. But it is a rather serious illness, with some pretty discouraging social stigma.
And as for anything that people can do, just hearing support and encouragement means a lot. :)
And maybe if people had suggestions as to how I can make money? Because my job pays nothing and I’m going to be without work in a few weeks and I don’t know if I’ll be going to Disney or going back to this job or what…
I feel like such an idiot for not answering them earlier.
Bahahahaha, I will eventually have to make a tag for that one!! :P
Not…not at all…
I find my lack of writing disturbing.