|Survival of the Fittest
Author: Ella Greggs PM
"Hey, Lady Face! What was all that yelling about?" He's just standing there in the locker room, frozen, looking terrified. Crap! Something's wrong with Kurt Hummel and now it's too late not to care. Companion to my fic "Kisses From Hell." Spoilers for "Never Been Kissed."Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Humor - Kurt H. & Sue S. - Words: 1,783 - Reviews: 101 - Favs: 235 - Follows: 21 - Published: 11-12-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6472769
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: For this story, in addition to pairing my two favorite Glee characters, Kurt and Sue, I also wanted to have at least one teacher at that school do something to actually help Kurt, because Will totally failed him in terms of the bullying. This is my first time writing Sue, and it's tough to come up with sufficiently outrageous things for her to say. I keep thinking, "No, no one would say that!" And then I realize that Sue would. In fact, she'd say something much, much worse. So the challenge is to think up a line that is much, much worse. Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you enjoy! Reviews are fantabulous and send my heart dancing like nothing else, so please take a moment to let me know what you think about the story. Thanks! Ella
Spoilers: For 'Never Been Kissed.' AU from developments in 'The Substitute' and onward.
Disclaimer: If I owned Glee, they'd sing more show tunes and Adam Lambert would have a recurring role as Kurt's older, wiser and even more fabulous countertenor cousin.
"You are nothing but a scared little boy who can't handle how extraordinarily ordinary you are!" And then hands like a vice on his head and he was pinned. An invasion, a violation. A kiss. But not just a kiss – passion, urgency, a devouring that had been totally absent when Brittany kissed him a few months back. But the wrong time, the wrong boy, and he couldn't get away.
Karofsky let go for an instant. He moved in again, acting as though his partner were willing, but Kurt shoved and drew back himself, hand flying protectively to his lips. It wasn't much of a push – more reflex than effort, as he'd been prepared for the blow but not for this. He shrank against the locker, dreading what might come next, what he might not be able to stop, because Kurt had learned how to defend himself with words and even with music, but not with his fists. And obviously Karofsky was stronger. He could ...force him. A kind of deadness gripped Kurt and he went cold. Not like that! His first time...oh god, not like that!
But instead of coming towards him, Karofsky smashed his fists against the metal locker and made some kind of animal noise, an involuntary, strangled sort of whimper/cry. He looked so... disappointed. And then he was gone, leaving Kurt standing there, tembling hand on his lips, still petrified, thinking what could have happened if Karofsky hadn't stopped, hadn't let him go.
Kurt had no idea how much time passed.
"Hey, Lady Face! What was all that yelling about? You disrupted my ritual sacrifice to Kali, Hindu goddess of destruction and cheerleading coaches."
Sue stood in the doorway with hands on her hips, running her perpetually dismissive gaze over the boy. She noted the huge, lost looking eyes and the way he seemed frozen in place, covering his mouth like he was trying to hide it. Shock, she decided, but not the shock of being caught doing some supposedly bad-ass thing he shouldn't. Fear, but not the awe inspired terror her majestic presence demanded. And not looking at her. Now that was unusual. One thing about Kurt Hummel, he was a gutsy fancy pants. He always looked her in the eye. So something was very wrong. Crap! Now that she knew it, she'd have to do the thing she disdained almost as much as the shoddy workmanship of illegal Laotian child labor - take an interest in the lives of others.
"Come with me," she commanded.
Kurt tried to rally. Pull yourself together! You're okay, you're not hurt, you're not. Just... say... something, anything... make her go away. "No," he managed softly, staring at nothing, his arms now wrapped protectively across his chest, holding himself in against the world. "I can't. I ...have to be somewhere."
"Where you have to be, Hummel, is parking your little butt in that chair in my office. Don't make me taser you."
He still didn't stir. He didn't even react. But if she tasered him, then she'd have to carry him into her office. Damn!
"Hey! You! Ms. High F Above Middle C!" She planted herself in front of him and snapped her fingers under his nose until he finally looked up. "My office, now!"
Another thing about Hummel, he always walked quickly, faking confidence the same way newscasters pretended they were smart. Now he moved like a sleepwalker. Sleepwalkers make lousy cheerleaders.
Sue's office was not far from the locker rooms. Kurt sat down, only vaguely aware of the change in venue. It didn't really matter where he was, the thoughts would follow. Karofsky had ... kissed him! Assaulted him and stolen something important from him. He should never have gone after the bully. Stupid, stupid, stupid! It felt so good to stand up for himself, be courageous. It was liberating, not being afraid of 'The Fury.' What a dumb, unoriginal name for a fist. But in the end, he was the defenseless, powerless idiot.
Sue slouched behind her desk and studied the pale, slight figure in silence for several minutes. Her eyes narrowed. This was irritating, it really was. She specifically had all her estrogen sucked out by medicinal leeches each month just so she wouldn't feel the need to change emotional diapers. Why can't these kids come to school already potty trained, anyway?
Sue really didn't have a problem with bullies. They performed a valuable personal service for misfits and outcasts. It was a hard, cruel world out there and likely targets might as well start preparing themselves in high school for a lifetime of spirit-crushing ridicule and abuse. Especially kids who were born different and couldn't change even if they wanted to. Survival of the fittest, so the little mouth-breathing freaks and geeks better toughen up. And being the shoulder to cry on, the crutch to lean on, if that's all you did, well, that was just patronizing and bloody useless.
She reached a decision. This wasn't about sympathy or that other Will Schuester word she despised, caring. She had an investment in the gay kid who could belt out Celine Dion and kick like a Rockette, and she had to protect it. "What's your home number?" she demanded.
"What?" A different shade of fear appeared on his face. He'd successfully hidden the bullying from his father so far, even made Finn promise not to say anything about the Gaga incident. Dad mustn't know about this, this thing that was so much worse than the rest. Kurt hated lying to his father, but this would drive Dad's blood pressure through the roof and he had to stay calm, not exert himself. If he had another heart attack... And how to tell him... This wasn't Kurt's fault, none of it. He had nothing to be ashamed of. But ...but...
Something in Kurt broke. He was ashamed, deeply ashamed. The burning, prickly feeling rushed over him and his face began to crumble.
"What part of that question was optional? Your home number. Digits, now!" Sue repeated roughly. "Or have that Harry Potter drivel and the pretentious stylings of Barbara Streisand driven even this basic information from your brain?"
Somehow her cold demeanor helped him regain a measure of self-control. He told her, fervently assuring himself that she didn't know. She only saw that he was upset. She couldn't tell his dad anything specific, could she?
"Mr. Hummel? This is Coach Sylvester. Can your day nurse stay a few extra hours? Kurt is helping me develop a new Cheerios routine and we've got some real creative momentum going right now. I think we can nail it down if I can keep him a little late this afternoon. Thank you, Mr. Hummel. What's that? Yes, he's a very talented boy, once you get him away from Will Schuester's Mediocrity Emporium."
She put down the phone and scrutinized Kurt in silence for a few more minutes, not at all inclined to explain herself to him or anyone.
The anxiety faded slowly from his face, replaced by a quizzical expression. "I'm sorry, Coach. I'm really not feeling well and – "
She took a $50 bill out of her wallet and pushed it across the desk towards him. He stared at it, now completely baffled.
"So I was watching the 'Kill Bill' movies," she said conversationally, "because I find that regular exposure to gratuitous violence helps desensitize me to the desperate pleas for mercy that always seem to accompany Cheerios practice, and it occurred to me that we might spice up our Nationals routine this year with some martial arts. Akido, Tae Kwon Do, do-see-do, whatever the hell it's called. There's a class downtown, meets every afternoon, all skill levels. I want you to go today and check it out. Maybe take some lessons, learn some moves and in a few weeks we'll see if there's anything useful there."
Kurt looked at her in amazement. Sue just gave her trademark smirk. Maybe there was something besides mocking and the lust for trophies in her eyes but he couldn't be sure. "If you do sign up, I'll pay. This is Cheerios research, it's important to the squad, and I want it done right. Quinn's half-way to getting pregnant again with Fish Lips. Santana can't cross her arms because of the new boobs. And Brittany hasn't learned to count to five in English. She'll never be able to handle some long-dead Oriental language like Korean or Japanese. So you're it, Lady. Now get going."
Kurt understood, or at least thought he did. "I...um, apprec – " he began.
"Look," Sue cut in, seemingly annoyed, "I was polite to your father, because I didn't want to cause him another coronary. I already have enough blood on my hands from Desert Storm. But that was my good deed for the decade, so get out of here before I sic Becky on you with a knife."
She watched through her office window as Kurt crossed the parking lot. Once she was sure he'd gotten into his car safely, that nobody - including one particular nobody - interfered with him, Sue did something she almost never did at school. She allowed herself to hope. Maybe one more survivor?