A/N: So, this is part of the Expect The Unexpected series I'm working on, which is, frankly, exactly what it sounds like. As part of my everlasting quest to defy any and all possible cliches, something completely unfathomable occurs with one member of the Glee club in each fic of the series. The goal? To have each character (even Matt and Mike, poor underfed pups) so far out of their league, but still remain in character. This is installment number three, but none of them are connected plot-wise, so there aren't any prequels you have to read for any of them. Some will be tragic, some scary, some mysterious, some humorous. Enough jabber - please enjoy!
Take Me Away
The first thing that registered in Azimio's mind was that he had a splitting headache, and the light that was beating through his eyelids was way too bright to be the morning sun. At least his alarm wasn't ringing. He figured that this had to be one of the worst hangovers he'd ever had, especially after he factored in that he couldn't remember getting drunk.
Cracking his eyes open and squinting in the blinding light, he shifted and realized that he was sitting on a wooden chair rather than lying in his bed. Confused, he tried to stand up, but his limbs refused to move. Attempting to suppress the nagging feeling in the back of his mind that something was wrong, he once again tried to stand, and this time he felt the distinct chafing of cloth wound far too tightly around his wrists and ankles. The shock began to settle in as soon as his tongue pressed against another rope of cloth tied through his teeth. A gag. Was this actually happening?
Turning his head (his neck was uncomfortably stiff, and it made him wince), he was able to make out four more silhouettes of slumped figures, all tied up and gagged just as he was. He let out a muffled yell through the gag; three of them lifted their heads in his direction. As his retinas slowly adjusted to the light, his eyes widened when he recognized Santana Lopez sitting furthest from him, her face frozen in an expression that made his stomach leap in his gut. She was scared. Santana Lopez was never scared. His stomach rolled again as he saw Dave Karofsky, his best friend, his fellow jock, his comrade-in-arms sitting in the chair closest to him, his chin still slumped into his chest. He was the only one yet to come to. Azimio forced himself to look away to see who the other two were. Finn Hudson. Noah Puckerman.
Puck never looked scared either. This was bad.
The five of them were arranged in a semi-circle on a black floor, perfectly symmetrical, and it wasn't until then that Azimio realized that the white light was coming from a specific source – a spotlight?
Were they on a stage?
As soon as Azimio figured out that they were in the WMHS auditorium, he felt a small wave of hope. He'd never felt relieved to be at school, but schools were public places, and public places had people.
The hopeful feeling vanished the moment he remembered it was Sunday and his parents wouldn't notice his absence, because he was never there on Sundays. Sundays were days for him and Karofsky to plan out their fresh and oh-so-original attacks on the less popular kids at school. He'd gotten in trouble for his bullying before, with Schuester, with Figgins, and praise from Coach Sylvester aside, he'd always expected it. Karofsky was the dumb one who was surprised when he got detention for giving a kid a swirlie. This, however, whatever it was, was a punishment that had not been foreseen.
Azimio didn't know how long they sat there, unable to move or speak, before Karofsky groaned beside him, his head rolling back on his shoulders as he slowly came around.
Almost immediately after Karofsky awoke, a voice echoed over the auditorium, amplified through the speakers. "Mr. Karofsky, how kind of you to join us," it said. "I'd like to take a moment to thank you all for coming. It's going to be a great show."
Azimio's stomach did yet another flip. What kind of sick joke was this?
A machine clanked somewhere, and the spotlight mercifully dimmed, allowing them to see all the way up to the back of the room. When the spots dancing in front of Azimio's eyes subsided, he was able to see someone sitting casually at the desk where Mr. Schuester sat during Glee rehearsals. The person reached forward and spoke into the microphone again.
"Do you like the venue? I'll admit it's a bit shabby, but I thought it was quite fitting for the circumstances."
Azimio frowned. He recognized that voice. It was high-pitched and smooth, but unquestionably male.
The kid pressed a couple of buttons on the lighting board, and the spotlight shut off, the lights hanging directly above them showering them with blue and purple. "I've found that perfect lighting is essential to any performance," he said before circling around the table and striding down the aisle towards the stage. Azimio didn't know much about him, but he knew that he definitely didn't normally walk like that. Whenever he saw the kid in the halls, whether he was dressed in his normal Gucci and Gabbana or his ridiculous silver Gaga outfit, he walked almost like a robot, with his back held straight and his head held high, unwilling to show anyone that his shoulder still hurt like hell from being shoved into the lockers that morning. Now, he was relaxed and moving with a catlike grace that scared Azimio shitless. Kurt Hummel had been shoved one time too many.
The five of them watched silently as Kurt stepped up onto the stage, the blue and purple lighting turning his skin an odd color. Azimio thought nothing of what he wore, other than it was pretty toned down compared to his usual wardrobe, but Finn, Puck, and Santana all recognized his costume from Sectionals, even though the red necktie was turned a deep violet by the stage lights. They held their breaths as Kurt began to pace, thoughtful rather than impatient, one hand on his hip and the other stroking his chin as he studied them.
"Lighting is important," he said as he stepped towards Santana, talking as if he were giving a lecture to lesser knowledgeable drama students rather than kidnapping victims. "Planning, props, staging – they're all vital," he continued, reaching over and pulling Santana's hair out of her ponytail, acting like the gesture was the most natural thing in the world. He leaned forward, rearranging her dark hair so that it spilled attractively over her shoulders, like a painter making sure his model looked right. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to pretend that she was somewhere else.
"But," Kurt started again, stepping back to see how she looked. "To be a truly great performer, the build-up is key." He circled around as he spoke, stopping briefly at each chair to make sure the bonds were properly tied and would hold. "Allowing the tension to grow and climax until the audience is waiting on baited breath for your next word, captivated by your every move." He resumed his stance in the center of the stage, facing them, smiling. "And that, my friends, is how we kill in theater. Although, today, I decided I'm taking that phrase much more literally."
The five hostages' eyes simultaneously widened and Puck tried to thrash against the ropes holding him, as Kurt clapped his hands together, striding with purpose over to a large tool chest sitting on the floor near the edge of the curtain. He dragged it into the center of the floor, and Azimio couldn't help but notice that even though the thing was clearly very heavy, Kurt didn't seem to be putting any effort into moving it. His heart rate escalated when he realized that the kid was much, much stronger than he looked.
Kurt planted one foot on top of the chest, leaning his elbow against his thigh. "You want to know one of the advantages of being a mechanic's son?" he asked, tapping his foot against the lid and letting the sound of his leather sole hitting the plastic resonate for a moment. "You really know how to use the power tools."
This time, Puck, Finn, and Karofsky all jerked desperately at their ropes.
"Oh, relax, will you?" Kurt snapped. "We're not going to get to that for a few minutes."
All five pairs of eyes looked to each other in confusion and terror. Kurt smiled airily, composure retained as he said, "First, I know that one or two of you may be wondering why it is that you're here. Well, frankly, it's because we've seemed to have…communication problems in the past. And now, we're going to straighten that out."
More silent confusion. Azimio was afraid to theorize about just what Kurt meant by 'communication'.
Finn's head snapped up, startled by the direct address and afraid of what might come of it.
Kurt inspected his nails. "Glee has taught me over the last few months that one of the best ways to really communicate what you need to say is through music. So, I've come up with a little number just for you, though it could work for the others as well." He looked around to each of them. "I want you all to pay close attention. Otherwise…" he trailed off, lightly kicking the tool chest for emphasis. Santana whimpered on the other side of the stage, and Kurt's gaze whipped in her direction, distracted.
"Oh, honestly, Santana," Kurt sighed, rolling his eyes at her frightened tears. "You cry over anything that doesn't go your way. Time to wake up and realize that you can't always be the one in control, darling. Now stop crying and listen."
He cleared his throat, the corners of his mouth turning up as his eyes fell upon Finn again, his head cocking to the side as he rhythmically recited, "Remember when you ran away, and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berserk? Well, you left me anyway and then the days got worse and worse, and now you see, I've gone completely out of my mind!"
A bead of sweat rolled down Finn's temple as the gravity of what Kurt was singing/chanting about began to sink in.
Kurt's voice gradually rose in pitch as the chorus progressed. "They're coming to take me away, ha-ha! They're coming to take me away, ho-ho! Hee-hee! Ha-ha! To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time! And I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats, and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!"
He paused for breath before beginning the second verse, a gleam in his eye as he relished in the fear radiating from his hostages. "You thought it was a joke and so you laughed – you laughed when I had said that losing you would make me flip my lid! Right?" To punctuate the last word, he slammed the foot that had been resting on the tool chest onto the floor, creating a loud smacking sound that probably sounded a lot more violent than it would have in any other circumstance. Then, he turned his attention to Azimio and Karofsky, chanting, "I know you laughed – I heard you laugh! You laughed, you laughed and laughed and then you left, but now you know I'm utterly mad!"
He looked back to Finn, who shrank in his seat and somehow managed to appear smaller than Kurt. "I cooked your food, I cleaned your house, and this is how you pay me back for all my kind, unselfish, loving deeds? HUH?"
With the next line, there was no doubt that he was addressing all five of them, his volume growing louder with every syllable. "Well, you just wait – they'll find you yet! And when they do, they'll put you in the ASPCA, you mangy MUTTS!"
For the first time since Azimio had woken up, Kurt looked angry. He was livid, his fists balled up at his sides in sheer rage. And just as suddenly as the wrath had appeared, it vanished. He straightened up, flipped his hair back, took a breath, smiled, and relaxed. "Well?" he said smoothly, his voice returned to its normal pitch and volume. "Did I communicate sufficiently?"
Not one out of five responded, and Kurt apparently hated that. He practically lunged toward Finn, grabbing a fistful of his hair. "Say yes…" He forced Finn's head back and forth in a nod. "Or no…" Side to side. Let go. "Well?" He leaned down so that he was at eye-level with Finn, bracing his hands against his knees. "Answer. Me."
Azimio thought he could see tears in Finn's eyes from where he sat, and for once, he did not have the urge to taunt another dude for crying. If he was in Finn's shoes at that second, he would probably break down a little, too. Finn let out a shuddering breath and squeezed his eyes shut, nodding fervently.
Kurt smiled. "Good." He straightened back up. "Really, getting anything out of you Neanderthals is like pulling teeth. You'd think it'd be easier considering how talkative you all are."
The emphasis on 'talkative' told Azimio that Kurt was implying something, trying to get them to feel guilty or regret some past act, but Azimio knew that their past taunts of the kid were so flippant and unmemorable that it was impossible to say just which one Kurt was referring to.
Kurt walked back to the tool chest. "Well, at least now that that's out of the way, we can start the fun, hm?"
A/N: Please leave a review and tell me what you think of it. I WILL be adding at least one more chapter to it. If you enjoyed it, add me to Author Alert to be notified when the other installments in the series are posted. So far, only Brittany's and Puck's are up - check them out, they're titled Tus Spiritus Sancti and Sun Gone Lost, respectively.