Disclaimer: I would if I could, but I don't so I won't.
WARNINGS: Slightly graphic mentions of violence, and Gruesome Imagery. Possible Triggers. If you don't like the angst don't read it.
It was like every other school day. Well, there was the mandatory assembly, but it was nearing graduation time, which meant even that blip in the system was normal. Graduation meant parties, parties meant drinking, and drinking meant drunk driving. So of course the school put on an assembly about the dangers of drunk driving. Not that it ever stopped anyone, after all, the presentations were always lame and the students stopped paying attention five minutes in. But at least the school could say they warned them of the consequences.
So it was a day like any other day. Except for Kurt Hummel. Kurt had taken his mandatory morning dive into the dumpster just like every other day of course, but that just served to put his nerves on edge. This morning had been absolutely terrible, first he woke up late and wasn't able to make it through his morning skin care routine, then, because he was running late, he forgot about his coffee, which was mandatory to get him through the last half of the day. Of course then there was the icing on the cake, the Neanderthals, while taking his coat and bag before carelessly tossing him into the dumpster (they managed to clip him as he went over the lip which would definitely leave a bruise), had dropped his brand new Marc Jacobs coat in a puddle of water. This day could not get any worse.
Except of course it could, after all he had the assembly to go to, the bane of his entire year. The hour he spent sitting with his so called peers and listening to a presenter, who could care less, drone on about a topic that had ruined his life. Yes today was definitely going to go down as one of the worst days yet.
As he sat in the bleachers of the gym Kurt couldn't help but twist in anxiety, Could they just get this over with already? Of course the moment he thought this Principal Figgins stood up and gestured for the gym full of students to quiet down. Which was a gesture everyone ignored, making Kurt groan in agony. Come on already. It wasn't until Coach Sylvester stood up that the students finally stopped talking.
"Now in the past we have had a presenter come in to lecture you on the dangers of drunk driving," Principal Figgins began after nodding thanks to Sue who only glared back. "This year we decided to go in a different route, one that will hopefully cause you to sit up and take notice. Without further ado I would like to present Officer Smith."
There was unenthusiastic scattered applause as the police officer stood up and moved to stand in front of the students. He motioned to someone Kurt couldn't see and a projector came on, a couple seconds later Kurt found himself staring at the ruins of a car.
Alright, this isn't so bad, all presenters show a crash, he thought to himself as he stared at the image, It's probably just from a movie anyway, no need to panic. Then the officer began to speak.
"This picture was taken last year, at the site of a three car collision, only one of the drivers was drunk, and three people died. This is the car of the drunk driver." Kurt could feel his eyes widening as he took in the information that this was a real crash, no movie involved. The officer then flipped to the next slide.
"These are the other two cars that were involved," and Kurt had to stop himself from throwing up, the two cars on the scene were in much worse condition than the other car, and if he wasn't mistaken that was an arm that was hanging out the window of the one on the right. Oh God…
"All three of the victims came from these two vehicles, the drunk driver walked away unharmed. In fact he walked away into a twenty year jail sentence for vehicular manslaughter. He was eighteen."
There were a couple of gasps at that and Kurt could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, Twenty years, that's longer than…no, don't think about that. Don't think about that. He had to bite his hand to stop thinking about it.
While his inner turmoil was occurring Officer Smith had already continued. He moved through a couple of slides while spouting information and facts about drunk driving. How many underage fatalities there were, how drunk driving was one of the leading killers of youth today. Then he stopped at another picture of an accident. This one showed more detail, there were two people in the car, a man and a woman, and both appeared dead.
"This was one of the hardest cases I ever sat in on, not the hardest, we'll get to that one later. These were two parents on the way home from a business party, both had been drinking. She ran the car into a tree, they both died on contact. They left behind two small children who ended up having to live with their grandparents." He moved to another slide and Kurt wanted to puke.
"This is the hardest case I ever worked," Officer Smith said gesturing to the image of a nearly totaled car, "Everything in the car was smashed together by the contact it made with the other vehicle except for the back seat." Oh God, Kurt could feel the blood draining from his face. He recognized that car, the paint color, the model, the crushed metal structure. If he closed his eyes he could picture the blood dripping from one of the various folds of metal.
"This was a blessing in disguise if you could call it that. In the back seat was an eight year old boy. Aside from a concussion he was fine. His mother on the other hand was far from it," Oh God. The officer flipped to the next picture, and Kurt could hear someone start to cry and a few other students' dry heave. It's a good thing they planned this assembly before lunch, Kurt thought absently as he stared at the image on the screen.
All he could see was a hand that disappeared into the mash of metal and some stray hairs that were coated in blood. Kurt could feel the blood roaring through his head as he stood up dizzily.
"It took the on call officers ten minutes to get to the scene of the accident, and when we arrived this is what we found," Officer Smith flipped to the next slide and Kurt could feel the bile rise in the back of his throat as he made his way down the bleachers. More students started to sob.
He stared at the image of himself at eight years old, frantically clawing at the metal of the car where his mother's hand was, and more because a shift of the vehicle had revealed more of her crushed and battered body. He could see her shoulder and part of her head, her vacant eyes, and the blood that wasn't flowing anymore that had covered him so completely that it took three showers to wash it out of his hair. Oh God.
Kurt reached the bottom of the bleachers and started walking toward the projector. Officer Smith stuttered to a stop and stared at him along with the rest of the students as he reached the projector. He turned it off. Kurt felt a certain relief once the image was erased, even if it was still burned into his eyes. Then the adults began yelling.
"What do you think you are doing?" Officer Smith bellowed, grabbing him by the arm. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Finn, Puck, Mike, and Matt jump up at that action, ready to step in if needed.
"Kurt that was uncalled for, go sit down so we can finish the assembly and we will talk about this afterwards," Mr. Schuester tried to cajole him into backing down. But Kurt had had enough.
"Mr. Hummel that was unnecessary and I think you will be looking at a week of suspension if you do not sit down right now!"
As they continued to yell at him in front of the other students Kurt finally spoke up.
"You have no right to show that," This immediately shut them up for a few seconds as they took in what he said and the Glee Club joined him, giving him support as he prepared to do battle, even if they had no idea what for.
"Young man you have no right to interrupt my presentation, nor do you have any say in what I do or do not show to this school. My presentation has already been approved by the school board and your principal, so I most certainly have the right to show this. These images are the only thing that will get through to people your age and I will…" As the officer continued his rant Kurt pulled out his phone and dialed a very familiar number.
"Dad?" He said when the phone was picked up, "I need you at the school…It's about the assembly…We're in the gym." When he hung up the phone he turned to face the officer who was stilling yelling on and on about the repercussions of Kurt's actions and how Kurt could definitely expect to be hearing about this in the future.
Kurt just looked on with a mask of calm that was frighteningly deceiving, and when five minutes later his dad flew into the gym Officer Smith was still yelling.
"What is going on?" Burt bellowed taking the officer by surprise, halting him mid-sentence.
"Dad," Kurt responded calmly, "This is Officer Smith, he came in to give us a presentation about drunk driving, which was approved by the school board and Principal Figgins. When I felt the need to stop it they responded as would be expected, although they certainly had no right to dictate whether the presentation continued or ceased at the point Officer Smith had reached. This is where I stopped the presentation," Kurt finished and turned the projector back on. The image of a small child covered in his dead mother's blood as he struggle to free her flickered back on, and it only took seconds for Burt to process through the image. He turned to Officer Smith with a glare.
"You better be able to present legal documents stating a right to use these images in a presentation, because if you don't, and I'm sure you don't, I'm taking you and the school board to court and you'll never be able to work in this state again," Burt's voice was laced with suppressed anger and Officer Smith lifted his chin in a show of superiority.
"And what makes you so sure I don't?"
"Because it would have been a cold day in hell the day I ever signed papers allowing that to be shown in a high school, let alone one anywhere close to where my son was."
Officer Smith paused for a moment, before he managed to push out a few terse words, "You, sign papers?"
"Well I would be the one who would have had to sign them, as you can see," Burt replied, gesturing toward the image on screen, "My wife is dead and my son is under-aged. I would have been the person to sign them, and I didn't." He finished with a cold smile that just screamed I have a shotgun that's polished and resting in my truck, I have a license to carry, I hold more records than you could dream of, and I know a nice secluded patch of ground where no one would ever find you. Officer Smith gulped.
"Are you telling me…That's Kurt?" Puck said gesturing with his hand toward the image of the bloody child. His voice was loud enough for the entire school to hear.
Burt stared Principal Figgins in the eye as he responded, "That's exactly what I'm saying." Figgins visibly paled as Mercedes began to sob from somewhere among the Glee Club. Kurt just looked on with no emotion showing on his face. It was as if he had blacked out while remaining standing, nothing flickered behind his eyes, it was as if he had just stopped.
"You will be hearing from my lawyers," Burt informed Principal Figgins and Officer Smith, "Now I am going to take my son home, and make sure that the results of your inability to double check your facts and paperwork have no lasting effect." With that Burt palled Kurt towards him and began marching him towards the door, "Mercedes could you grab his bag?" He yelled on their way out. The blankness on Kurt's face was beginning to crumble and his friends could see he was starting to fall apart.
Mercedes nodded and Artie spoke up, "Yeah, we've got it." Burt nodded and they disappeared from sight, and the school was left with the sound of Kurt's sobs that escaped him the moment they stepped through the door.
Santana looked from the image of Kurt still on the screen to the shell-shocked faces of Principal Figgins and Officer Smith, "That's just wrong," She stated with a glare, "And I for one have no desire to stand here with you idiots any longer, come on Brittany. We're leaving." She dragged the blond Cheerio toward the door and the rest of the Glee Club followed. More than a few crying, and as Puck left he flipped off the two men standing slack jawed.
Sue stood up from where she sat watching the goings on and moved to stand in front of them, "You two pathetic creatures make me sick. Standing here watching you breathe is even more of a waste of time that William trying to make his hair look less like a camel licked it repeatedly after he dumped two tons of gel on it. Get out of my sight. You disgust me."
Figgins and Officer Smith quickly followed her directions fleeing out the doors of the gym. Sue turned to the students who had remained where they sat in the wake of the crazed presentation and subsequent backlash.
"What are you waiting for?" Sue yelled, "Shouldn't you wastes of life be heading back to class to attempt to scrape even a drop of understanding into those worthless brains of yours? MOVE!"
Like the men before them the students followed Sue's orders quickly, "And if I even hear a whisper of anyone making a move against my Cheerio over this they will be eating the rest of their meals out of a straw!"
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