Three... Two (!!)... ONE (yay!) week Glee hiatus, the horrors! To try and make it go by faster, I decided to do this project. I'll put up one new ficlet every day (I hope...) up to the day Glee returns! So be on the lookout! :)


"The Valiant"
Kurt, Kurt/Finn

Driving home in the big car with the busted window, Kurt's mind was only in part hung up on having to face his father about it. The event, which had led to said busted window, had gotten very close to bringing a secret to light. Up until then, it had never come so close to being spoken, so used as he was to keep it to himself.

He was in love with Finn Hudson.

Reaching his room, putting away his things neatly in place, the question first came at him… When had it started? Where had it come from? Maybe when he'd joined Glee Club… really joined it.

[A FEW WEEKS AGO]

Kurt stood at the edge of the stage, adjusting the red shirt, fixing his hair. As his hands dropped back down to his side, he looked to the girls on the other end. Rachel and Mercedes were arguing about… something or another. Artie was preparing with the Jazz Ensemble. And Finn, their new member… Kurt looked back and finally found him, walking up and down one of the side aisles. He could tell from the stunted motions and low mumblings that Finn was working through the song.

He still wasn't too sure how much he was supposed to trust that his rah-rah "we're all losers so let's be friends" speech was so on the up and up. Sure, they hung in different circles, which inevitably made their interactions troublesome.

Still, looking at him now, he could hardly see the bullying ensemble he was a part of. Maybe he could be one of them… there was a lot of work to be done, especially on his dancing, but he could see… he wasn't lying about the music. And he wasn't a bad guy, he knew that deep down.

*

No, it was already there. He'd try to ignore it, knowing who Finn was in their school, but the feeling was already there…

[ONE YEAR AGO]

He'd dashed into the boys' room after his latest dumpster toss, after stopping by his locker for something to help clean his jacket. There was no technique in being tossed in among the trash and landing clear of stains. On that day, once he'd climbed out – now that he'd learned to do – he'd found his right sleeve covered in pizza sauce. When he'd pulled the jacket off, a slice of pepperoni had fallen out… just fantastic.

He wasn't going to let the stain set and ruin this jacket, so if he had to stand at that sink for hours, miss classes… so be it.

He heard the door open and close and he looked over his shoulder. Finn Hudson… had to be him, of course… He turned back to his jacket and the stain. He heard Finn clear his throat and move into one of the stalls. Kurt tried to forget he was there. But then, he heard Finn come out of the stall – Kurt scrubbed harder – and he sensed him standing a couple sinks away.

'Just wash your hands and go, just wash and go…' Kurt thought to himself.

"Are you okay?" Kurt didn't look up. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry isn't going to get this stain out," he spoke.

"I-I'll pay, I'll get it cleaned." Kurt smirked to himself.

"Don't bother. I'll get it clean. This isn't my first emergency stain removal." He kept scrubbing. "Of course I wouldn't have to worry about that if you and your friends got a new hobby," he finally looked over to Finn. He looked down.

"If it was up to me…" Finn scratched at his arm. "I can try to get them to stop." Kurt hoped for a moment… He got back to his stain.

"They won't stop." Finn nodded, moved beyond him, to grab a paper towel. He looked back to Kurt.

"Maybe… I can hang on to it next time."

*

It was already there then too… it made each dumpster toss harder.

[FOUR YEARS AGO]

Kurt had long had to endure the fact that his last name lent itself to a particular hurtful wordplay. He just wished they wouldn't use it so much.

And on that day, he'd been feeling pretty good as his father dropped him off at school. At this point, he should have guessed that it wouldn't last long, but optimism had a way of making someone blind.

"Hey, Hummel…" He froze. That was how it started… that was always how it started. Running… he could run… they'd run too… it wouldn't end well. So he turned, his eyes growing wide when he saw there were three of them approaching.

"Hey, guys!" All four boys turned to the source of the call. Finn came running to the trio. "It's our turn at the wall," he told them. The taller of the boys frowned, no doubt torn as to whether he should leave to go take his turn to play, or stay to torment Kurt, who was inwardly crossing his fingers that he'd choose to go play.

Finally, the boys turned and ran off to play, followed by Finn. Kurt closed his eyes and let out a breath. When he opened his eyes again, he saw Finn look back as he ran with the others. He threw a small nod to Kurt as though saying 'you're okay.' He was speechless.

[SIX YEARS AGO]

He didn't hate gym class… he didn't despise it, or loathe it… He wished to find the person who'd invented it and deliver it a swift kick…

"Okay, team captains! Hudson, Fisher," the gym teacher called out.

Oh, the highlight of his day. At this point, he knew which team he'd be on… he just had to see which team had last pick – he'd be on it. So he'd just sit there, checking his shoes for grass stains until they were done picking everybody else…

"Kurt." He sighed, moving to get up and join his de facto team, only to realize there were still other (shocked) boys still waiting to be picked. Kurt looked back to the others and saw he'd been picked by Finn Hudson.

*

He stopped trying to figure it out after a while… especially when he heard a holler from upstairs… his father was home.

Maybe he couldn't remember… it didn't change anything, really, so he supposed he could deal with it.

[NINE YEARS AGO]

Kurt's father had walked him right up to his classroom. He was smaller than a lot of the other kids, and his cousins had told him so many horror stories, he was expecting the absolute worst things to happen.

They were seated in alphabetical order. Until the other children came, he just sat there at his desk. When they finally came, he pulled out a pencil, getting ready. He traced his name on his hand, dragging the lead to simulate the letters. He put the pencil down… and it rolled away.

Before he could stop it, it hit the ground. Kurt twisted about in his chair to see where it had landed. He spotted it at the feet of the boy in front of him. The boy reached down and picked it up, turned to Kurt, holding the pencil out.

"Here. It's yours?" Kurt nodded, and the boy handed him the pencil.

"Thank you," he smiled, and the boy smiled back.

"I'm Finn," he nodded.

"Kurt… Hi."

THE END