God, football sucks. I spent most of my games sitting on the bench, bored to death, waiting for someone to score so that I could actually do something. It wasn't that I wanted to be out on that field. Not only would I end up filthy and covered in grass stains, but the thought of being crushed underneath a pile of sweaty gorillas was absolutely nauseating. Now, if I was underneath just Finn, and we just happened to be naked….
Which brought me to the saving grace of being on the team. Finn Hudson in tight football pants. Or, better yet, in the locker room naked after the game. Yeah, I had it bad for him. Not that he noticed. Finn seldom noticed anything unless it was edible or came in an extremely short skirt. I supposed that was a good thing, since I didn't want him to freak out or anything. He seemed to be fine with my sexuality, in theory, but it was a different matter entirely to find out the creepy gay kid had a crush on you.
I ran my eyes over the sea of red and white, looking for him. He was the tallest player on the team, but, even if he hadn't been, I would have recognized him in a heartbeat. He was going over a play with the other guys, hand moving rapidly. His face was hidden by the helmet, but he turned in my direction twice. I wanted to think he was looking at me, but I knew better. Rachael was right: she might be the last choice, but I wasn't even on the radar. I just had to be content with watching from afar and reminding myself that I would be out of this stupid, homophobic town in a few years. I could go that long without a boyfriend. I would have to; there were just no other choices.
The team all got into position, and I started let my attention wander. Finn called out a string of numbers, which was probably a play of some sort, not that I bothered to learn them. If there was no dancing involved, I had no interest. Finn took the ball and launched it at Mike Chang instead of Puck.
Because I was watching Finn instead of the ball, I might be the only one who actually saw what happened next. Finn was halfway up on his toes, watching Mike run, and failed to see the opposing player until he was slammed to the ground. Startled, he flung an arm out to catch himself, and ended up taking their combined weights directly on it.
The resulting snap could be heard all the way where I was sitting.
The crowd fell silent as the entire McKinley team jumped up and charged onto the field. Finn didn't get up, didn't even move, even after the other player got off of him. Matt got to him first and held him down with one hand on his shoulder and the other on his hip.
I was halfway to him before I even realized I was moving. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Puck throw himself into the offending player. They went to the ground in a tangle of limbs, rolling back and forth. I sidestepped them, reaching Finn at the same time Coach Tanaka did.
I didn't want to be in the way, so I stood back a few steps, watching as the coach assessed his player. My stomach lurched when I saw the thin trickle of blood that had appeared from under Finn's helmet, trailing down his throat. Then I heard his voice. It was strained and thick with pain, but at least he was conscious.
His answers must have satisfied the coach, because he eased the helmet off. Once he did, I could see that the blood was coming from Finn's lip, which he was still biting down on. "Hang in there, son. We're going to take you to the hospital. Is your mom here?"
"No, she's at work." Finn was struggling to get up, so Matt helped him into a sitting position. Even with his right arm folded up against his body, I could see a lump in it that hadn't been there before.
"Do I need to call an ambulance? Oh, crap, why don't we have a nurse..." Coach Tanaka was starting to panic, which was never a good thing. Time to step in.
"I know what to do. Get him back to the locker room." I forced my voice to be calm and authoritative. "You need to get his arm stabilized before he makes it worse."
Two years ago, a jack had collapsed in the garage, crushing the shoulder of one of my dad's employees. None of us had known what to do, and we all ended up flailing around screaming (ok, most of the screaming was coming from me. My girlish squeals may have been what finally convinced my dad that, yep, his son was queer) until the ambulance had arrived. Because we hadn't kept Dale's shoulder stable and still, he ended up having to have surgery. After that, my father had forced his entire staff, plus me, to take a class in first aid. So I knew that the first priority had to be keeping that arm as still as possible.
Mike and Matt helped Finn to his feet. He was wobbly and pale and I prayed he wasn't going to pass out on us. Both the referee and the opposing coach were yelling at Puck and the other player, their voices eerily loud in the silence that had fallen. Coach swore under his breath, then grabbed my shoulder. "Kurt, can you handle this? Because, honestly, I don't know what to for him. Let me sort out Puckerman and what happened, and I'll take him to the hospital."
I stared directly at him. "Yes."
"Do it then." He looked helplessly at Finn. "Shake it off, Hudson, alright?"
I personally thought that that was a rather appalling thing to say, but Finn nodded weakly. It must be some sort of guy code, like hitting each other to show affection or teasing each other mercilessly. I apparently hadn't been programmed with that particular code.
Dimly, I head the coach ordering the rest of the team to quit crowding Finn and get their asses back to the sidelines. They had a game to finish, didn't they? "Chang, Rutherford, take him to the back." He handed me a set of keys. "Use the gold cart."
Mike drove, with Matt riding shotgun. That left me to ride in the back with Finn, who leaned heavily against me. His face was white, and he was sweating bullets. Part of our first aid training had been to recognize the signs of shock, and Finn was starting to show them. I lightly touched his leg. "Hey. Stay with me." I tried to be forceful with him, but my voice always softened when I was talking to Finn.
Much to my surprise, he laid his good hand over mine. My heart jumped, thumping against my ribs. It doesn't mean anything, Kurt. My inner diva was in a bitchy mood tonight. He's a toucher anyway, and he's scared and in pain right now. Stop thinking about getting into his pants, and act like a friend.
Galinda (as I referred to my diva), had a point. Finn touched everybody, male and female, without seeming to notice or care. It was part of his charm, his easy affection. I curled my fingers around his. His skin was clammy, another really bad sign. "Stay awake and let me know if you feel sick."
"Ok." His eyes were half closed, but flickered open to meet mine. "I really fucked myself up, didn't I?"
He had, but I wasn't about to say that. "I don't know. Don't move your arm, ok?"
The cart stopped, and Matt was holding out his hand to help Finn up. I nodded at Mike. "Get a towel and roll it up as tightly as you can."
Matt guided Finn over to one of the benches and patted his shoulder. It suddenly occurred to me that I had never once heard Matt speak. He sang, and sang beautifully, but was otherwise silent. "Matt?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Can you go get my bag out of my locker? Code 12-52-10." Most of the guys didn't bother locking up their stuff, but I had several hundred dollars worth of facial and hair products in there, not to mention the clothes themselves. Plus, I was tired of having my stuff messed with. For the most part, the guys had accepted me as part of the team, but there were a few that still enjoyed picking on the fag.
Finn, and more recently, Mike, Matt and Puck, took up for me whenever they heard it, but it just made the rest of the guys sneakier about their tactics. As much as I wanted to just follow Finn around, clinging like a desperate puppy, I knew that I couldn't. It would keep me safe, certainly, but I knew that rumors were already flying about my relationship with Finn, and I couldn't do that to him.
The towel and the gym bag arrived simultaneously. I rummaged around until I found the scarf I had been wearing today. Luckily, it was a long one, and would serve its purpose well. I took the towel from Mike and gently tried to pull Finn's injured arm away from his body. He tensed and shook his head.
Mike gave my shoulder a quick pat. "Matt and I are gonna find Coach, alright?"
I appreciated him giving us a little privacy. "Finn, you have to let me see." His dark eyes met mine, and I could practically see the gears turning in my head as he tried to determine whether or not to trust me. I tried to look as nonthreatening as possible. "I won't hurt you."
After what seemed like forever, he nodded, and allowed me to straighten out his arm. Once it was out, I could clearly see the break. The bone looked to have entirely separated, with one end having slid up over the other. He was lucky that the bone hadn't broken right through his skin.
By the sharp intake of breath, I knew that Finn knew all of these things, too. "Hold still." If you were firm enough with Finn, he usually wouldn't fight you. He likes being dominated, Kurt, you can do that.
I told my inner voice to shut up, then returned my focus to Finn's arm. Moving as slowly and carefully as possible, I slid the towel under it, to provide a temporary brace, then wrapped my scarf (which, by the way, was freaking designer silk and was now going to be ruined by sweat and general grossness) around both the towel and the arm, anchoring the towel in place. "Now don't move it, ok? If you move it around, you're going to make this worse."
"Kay." He leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes. I slapped his leg, startling him back awake. "And don't go to sleep! You pass out now, and you're going to the hospital in an ambulance, alone, hooked to an IV, instead of with Coach Tanaka in his car."
It was a low blow, but I knew that it would scare him enough to try and keep conscious. Finn was both terrified of needles (something that Puck had accidentally revealed in my hearing, right before team physicals), and miserable when he was left alone. He gave me a long look. "You're coming, too, right?"
"What?" I could feel my features moving into that stupid face I always made when I was shocked.
He must have read my face, because he looked down and jerked his shoulders into a shrug. "You don't have to. I just thought that…I don't know."
I had never been able to stand it when Finn looked sad, so I made a hasty promise. "I'll stay with you. We'll figure something out when we get there, ok?"
A soft smile lurked around the corners of his mouth. "You're great, Kurt, you really are."
I would have given anything to hear those words in a different context, and to know that he actually meant them. I looked down, not wanting Finn to be able to read my eyes. For someone who, for the most part, appeared to be about as smart as the average dodo, he was sometimes very perceptive. Every time in interacted with him, I ran the risk of doing something that would finally make it all hit home. But I couldn't stay away.
"So, what happened?" I changed the subject as quickly as I could. "I didn't think they were allowed to touch you if you didn't have the ball." That was the reason I had cut the dance routine a little short the past few games. I was by far the smallest guy on the field, no matter who we played, and I lived in fear of ending up with an injury like Finn's. Or having my hair ruined.
"They aren't supposed to. Either he didn't realize I had thrown the ball, or he was deliberately trying to take me down."
The other boy hadn't even started running until Finn had thrown the ball, so it had been a deliberate effort to injure the best player on the opposing team. It was such and immature thing to do. I really wanted to feel superior about that, but I couldn't, considering the number of times I had considered 'accidentally' knocking Rachael off the risers at Glee practice.
I didn't want Finn to know how closely I was eye stalking him, though, so I just made a noncommittal sound. I wanted to keep him talking, to keep his mind off the pain, but I was running out of topics. 'I want to get into your pants' would certainly be a conversation starter, but I was trying keep him calm, not cause him to have an aneurism in addition to his other problems.
"So, how come you threw the diva-off with Rachael? I've been thinking about it for, like, four days, and I can't figure it out. Rachael's really good, and I was kinda rooting for her, but you're good too.
As was my habit when startled be something, I tried to deny it. "I have no idea what you're talking about. I thought I could hit the high note, but I couldn't. Better to find that out in rehearsal, than mess up in front of a thousand people."
"Yes, you can. Hit the note, I mean. Well, you could probably screw up in front of all those people, too, but I know you can hit that note. I heard you do it in practice."
Maybe Finn wasn't as stupid as I had first believed. He was certainly looking at me now as if he knew everything that I was thinking. I leaned back against the wall next to him, so that my shoulder was almost touching his. "No you didn't." He couldn't have possibly heard that, since I had been so careful to only practice my upper range when I was alone. No need to invite more teasing or questioning of my true gender.
"Yeah, I did." He turned to look at me, so close that I could have leaned over and kissed him. "Not during regular practice, after school. I know I don't know as much about music as you or Rachael, but I do know what an F sounds like. Well, except when I confuse it with a G." He squinted one eye. "But I'm a lot better than I was."
"Of course you are." I mostly said it because I was hoping to sway him off subject, but it was the truth. For someone who had never had any musical training, except in percussion, he had adapted well, learning to read music in just a few sessions. Dear God, was there anything he couldn't do well?
Remember to use some protection so he doesn't get his slut bag of a girlfriend knocked up, or have you forgotten about that? The thought stopped me cold. No, I hadn't forgotten about Quinn or the baby, I was just choosing to strategically block them out of my mind.
It was useless though. Finn was nothing if not honorable, and would stay with Quinn, whether her liked her or not, for the baby's sake. Not having his own father around had made Finn determined to be there for his daughter. Seeing her every other weekend and on holidays wasn't enough for him. As long as that baby was there, nothing the rest of us could do would break them up. Even if Quinn did treat him like a loyal but stupid dog rather than a boyfriend.
I had drifted into my own thoughts, completely forgetting where we had started. Thus, it came as a surprise when Finn nudged me lightly. "So how come you blew the competition? You were really good, and Rachael would have gotten over it eventually."
Somehow, I doubted that. Rachael was absolutely ruthless, to the point where she had actually gotten the last Glee director fired. Not that I didn't think there was something going on between Mr. Ryerson and Hank. But thinking something without any proof was a lot different then tattling to Figgins because you lost out on the solo you wanted. "I just…" I stopped there, because I was faced with two choices. I could either tell Finn the truth, and trust that he could keep a secret, or lie. I would have liked to pick option two, but absolutely nothing came to mind. "Ok, but you have to promise not to tell anyone, ok? Not that I blew the note on purpose, and definitely not why."
"Sure." Finn was giving him an unusually deep look, as though he sensed the gravity of the situation.
I leaned even closer, lowering my voice to the barest whisper. It was just Finn and I, but Coach Tanaka would be here any minute. Actually, he should have been here already. "It's because of my dad."
Finn mimicked my whisper. "Your dad? But I thought he was cool with it. I mean, we all heard about him getting Mr. Shue called into the office." His brows drew together as he tried to figure it out.
It took everything I had not to kiss the wrinkle that appeared on his forehead when he did that. "Some guy called the garage. I usually get the phone, but I didn't get there fast enough, and my Dad got it. The guy called me a fag and hung up. The look on his face…I just don't want him to be hurt. If I got the solo, people would know, and the calls would keep coming."
Much to my relief, Finn nodded. "I get it. I would have done the same thing for my Mom. If she had wanted me to quit Glee, I would have. You know what she said, though? She said my Dad used to sing, too, and that he had serenaded her on their second date. I didn't know that."
It was nice to be able to talk to Finn like this. Of all the kids in Glee, he was the only one who understood what it was to lose a parent, and to know that the only person in the world who would be there for you was the remaining one. I smiled at him, and was rewarded with a small grin back. Then his eyes squeezed shut. "My arm is really starting to hurt."
The adrenaline that had been coursing through Finn's veins had dulled the pain until now, but it was wearing off. If Finn thought he was in pain now, he was going to be in agony in a little while. I didn't know what else to do, so I patted his knee. "Breathe. In though the nose, out through the mouth, just like in practice."
He did so for a few minutes, before the locker room door burst open and the coach came busting in flanked by Puck and Quinn. Puck had dirt running down his face, and a bloody nose, but he was smiling triumphantly. "I busted him up for you, Finn. No one hurts my boy and gets away with it!"
I supposed that was sweet, in a Neanderthal kind of way. Finn weakly raised his good hand, curling it into a fist, and Puck thumped it with his own. He flinched a little, since his knuckles were scraped, but there was an obvious camaraderie between them.
Quinn was a different story. She approached Finn carefully, as if she were afraid, her small hands fluttering up without touching him. If Finn had been my boyfriend, I would have been rushing to hold him, to stroke his hair and tell him it would all be ok. Shit, I had made it to his side faster then she had, and I was almost all of the way across the field. Had she even paused in her cheerleading routine? I had been so focused on Finn that I couldn't remember.
Finally she made her way over to him, one hand raised. The other, I noted, was on her stomach, covering the barely there bump. What did that mean? "It'll be alright, Finn. Your coach is pulling his car around, and he's going to take you to the hospital. Do you want me to go with you?"
In a movement that was so subtle I barely felt it, Finn actually flinched against me. "No. I mean, well, it's not good for you to be in the hospital. You know, with Baby Drizzle and all. I don't want her to get sick."
Finn might be good at many things, but lying wasn't one of them. He twitched and looked down every time he tried. Oddly, it seemed that I was the only one that noticed. Quinn's eyes narrowed. "For the last time, we are not calling the baby Drizzle! We aren't calling her anything, because we aren't keeping her! Honestly Finn, does your brain function at all?"
Did she really need to pick on him right now? If they weren't keeping the baby (and that decision seemed to change day to day), what did it matter what Finn called her? It would be the only bond he would ever have with a baby that he would always consider his own. He might not be the brightest scarf in the drawer, but his heart was in the right place. He was more concerned with the health of his baby and its incubator (better known as Quinn Fabray) than he was with his own comfort.
"Quinnie, lay off of him, his arms broken. Jeez.." I never thought I would be so glad to hear Noah Puckerman's voice. He leaned over Finn. "You want me to go with you, Hudson?"
My chest tightened. Of course Finn would rather have his best friend with him then me. He and I had Glee, and an unspoken arrangement where I helped him with his choreography in exchange for him getting me on the football team, and that awkward bond that comes with having a dead parent, but he and Puck were best friends. They had a history I couldn't hope to compete with.
"Nah, it's alright. Kurt's going with me. It's only the first quarter, and you need to go out there and kick their asses." Finn gave him a weak smile.
Puck visibly puffed up. "I already kicked the ass of that pussy that busted your arm like that. Fuckers have no idea who they're messing with."
Coach Tanaka was jittering back and forth, more upset than either Finn or I. "Alright, everybody out. Finn, we're trying to get your mother, but she isn't answering her cell. Is there another number we can try?"
Finn licked his dry lips. "Uh, her work number's in my phone. It's in my gym bag. She might be out, though."
I braced a hand behind Finn's back and gently pushed him upright. He seemed steady, so I grabbed his bag, easily finding the cell phone in the front pocket. This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I spent way too much time watching everything that he did, and thus knew exactly where he kept everything.
"Is there someone else who can come meet you there?" Coach Tanaka took a hold of Finn's uninjured arm and started leading him out to the waiting car.
"Uh-uh. It's just me and her, you know that."
The Coach opened one of the car doors, and I hurried around to the other side. I figured that Finn would have trouble getting in one handed, and I was right. I had broken my wrist when I was younger, and it was amazing how many things required two hands. Things that you didn't even think about until you couldn't do them. I took his hand and pulled, giving him the leverage he needed to get into the seat. He leaned back, his eyes half-closed. I buckled his seatbelt for him, and he nodded his thanks without speaking.
"Don't go to sleep." His color, which had improved a bit while we were talking, was gone again, his freckles standing out in sharp relief. "Talk to me, Finn."
"'Bout what?" His voice was slurring a little. In the dim light of the car, I couldn't see his eyes, but I was pretty sure the pupils were starting to dilate. He was going into shock for real this time, and he needed the hospital, now.
I grabbed his chin, giving his face a light slap. "About the fact that Mr. Shuester is hot for you!"
That woke him up, and quickly, too. "What?"
Yeah, Kurt, what? I had no idea where that had come from, other then the fact that I needed something that would startle him back to consciousness. "Have you seen the way he looks at you? It's totally obvious!"
I was going to burn in Hell for this, I was sure of it. It was no secret that Mr. Shuester favored Finn, but not because he wanted to sleep with him. I mean, not only if Finn his student, but he's only 16. It's kind of illegal. Not for you and him, Kurt. It would be perfect for the two of you.
"It is?" Finn was sitting up straighter now. "He really wants me…like that?"
No, not really. Mr. Shue loved Finn, that was true, but only in a paternal way. I sometimes thought he considered Finn his practice piece, so he would be more confident when his wife had their real baby. Finn absorbed any affection that Mr. Shue was willing to give him, so their relationship seemed to work. "Maybe. But then, what do I know?"
Coach Tanaka blew another red light, making me cringe back against the seat. I could see the hospital two blocks up. "Hang in there, ok? We're almost there."
"Mr. S wants me?" Finn was still hung up on my earlier lie. He sounded….confused? Possibly a tiny bit intrigued. That surprised me. I would have expected to hear at least a little disgust in his voice. Maybe you can sway him to your side after all.
We parked in the ambulance bay, and eased Finn out of the car. In the harsh lighting, he looked worse than ever. The triage nurse took him, closing the curtain around him and giving us a very pointed look. I took the chance to try calling Finn's mother again, thankful that he had her in the phone under 'Mom Cell'.
A harried voice answered. "Finn, the answer is no. I want you home tonight."
I wasn't sure what to say to that. "Uh, no. This is Kurt Hummel, I play football with Finn?"
Her voice softened. "Oh, hello, Kurt. You do Glee with my boy too, right? He's always talking about you. If you're calling me, what's Finn done now?"
Wait a minute, Finn talked about me all the time? I could feel my face flushing at the thought. "Finn got hurt during the football game. I think his arm is broken. Coach Tanaka and I are at the hospital with him right now, but I'm guessing he really wants you."
She gasped, a sharp and painful sound. "Oh, Finn. Tell him that I'm leaving work right now, but I'm out of distract so it's going to be about 45 minutes before I can get there. You won't leave him alone, will you? Please Kurt, stay with him."
I hardly needed to have my arm twisted. "It's alright, Mrs. Hudson, I'll take care of him. I won't leave until you get here." I could hear her soft sobs through the phone, and I worried that something would happen. "Please drive carefully."
When she spoke again, her voice was strong. "I will. Thank you, Kurt."
The phone disconnected just as Finn came back out, led by the triage nurse. He looked absolutely panicky until he saw me standing there. "You stayed." It was more of a rush of air then actual words. "Where's Coach?"
"Getting out of the ambulance bay before he's towed. Do you want me to go back with you?" Please say yes, please say yes.
"Yes." He gave me one of those funny half smiles, the one that made my heart start thudding.
"Are you family to Mr. Hudson?" The nurse's tone suggested that she didn't think so.
I cocked my head and stared her right in the eyes. Time for my inner diva to surface. "I'm his brother. Stepbrother, actually, but I'm the only family he has right now. His mother is on the way." I was little, but I knew how to do a rather intimidating stare down. It was the only thing that had kept me from getting the crap beaten out of me every single day.
I knew that she didn't believe me, but Finn chose that moment to stagger and almost collapse. "Alright, fine. Let's get him to a room."
It was only after she got Finn to lie down on the bed that I remembered how much I hated hospitals. After all, it had been in this building, two floors up, that I had sat quietly and watched my mother die. Bile rose up in my throat at the memory, and I had to sit down. Cranky Nurse gave me a quick look. "We're backed up for the X-ray machine, so it might be a little bit of a wait. Watch him and let me know if anything changes with your brother. I'll be back in a minute with same pain medication"
Her sarcasm brought me back to the present. "Oh, don't worry, I'll be here."
Once she was gone, I turned back to Finn. His eyes were half open, and focused on me. "Thanks for staying, Kurt. You're a good friend."
My heart sank a little at the word 'friend', but I covered it as best as I could. "Brother. Remember, I'm your stepbrother."
"Right." Suddenly his head jerked up in horror. "Do you think that pain medication is going to be in a shot? Because I really have this problem with needles." Even as he spoke, he started to tremble.