This is my first attempt at a Glee fanfic. The idea came to me one night when I was trying to sleep, and I decided that I needed to write it. Please let me know how it is? This is unbetaed, so all mistakes are my own. Takes place during the episode "Wheels".

I do not own.

Kurt sat at the piano in the choir room gracefully playing Defying Gravity, and humming along softly. It had taken a lot out of him emotionally to blow that high F during the diva-off earlier, and he wasn't quite ready to face his father just yet. He knew that his father would be angry and possibly disappointed, considering that Burt had to threaten to sue the school just so his son could even audition for the song.

Through his internal musings, Kurt heard the door to the choir room open and somebody step inside. He didn't turn, or acknowledge whomever it was; he just stopped humming along to the piano. The person waited an uncomfortably long moment before speaking.

"Why'd you blow it?"

Kurt grimaced at the tone of voice Rachel was using. It was soft, almost pitying. He didn't need or want Rachel Berry's pity. He just needed to be left alone for a while so he could bring himself to face his father. Kurt decided that maybe if he ignored her, she would get offended and storm off.

No such luck, it seemed. Rachel stepped farther into the room, stopping only when she was standing right behind Kurt.

"I know you did it on purpose. Thanks to my years of professional training, I could tell," she stated matter-of-factually. "And the expression on your face, well . . . It was one of devastation. It hurt you to blow that note, so why did you do it?"

Kurt sighed deeply, and continued to play even as he replied in the calmest voice he could muster, "Why does it matter? You got the solo; that's what you wanted. You should be out celebrating your victory." He was quite proud that his voice didn't waver at all.

Rachel frowned though. "It matters because you fought so hard to get the chance to sing this song, and then you purposefully threw that chance down the drain! Don't get me wrong; I'm glad I won, especially since Mr. Shue promised it to me in the first place. I'm not giving it up. But you giving up like that? It was painful to watch, even for me. And now, my victory seems tainted, since you didn't do your best. I didn't get the usual thrill I get when I win a competition, and I want to know why."

Kurt tried to suppress a smile as he could practically hear Rachel crossing her arms and scowling in frustration. He finished playing the song before turning to face her, a determined look on his face.

"It's really not any of your business," he had to hold up his hand when Rachel opened her mouth to reply before continuing, "but my dad got a phone call yesterday at his shop."

"You gave up Defying Gravity because your dad got a phone call?" Rachel looked genuinely perplexed.

"It was the anonymous kind; some guy told him that his son was a fag."

Rachel flinched at that word before she tried to interrupt. "Kurt, you really shouldn't use-"

"That's not the point, Rachel," he broke in softly before she could really launch into a rant. "It was the first time anything like that has happened to him. It really freaked him out. When I saw him after that phone call, he tried to tell me that it was alright, that he was fine. But it was clearly obvious that he wasn't. I knew then that if I won the diva-off, if I got up in front of thousands of people and sang a song traditionally sung by a girl, things would get worse. Dad can't handle that; he's already so afraid for my safety. He's been more accepting and more supportive than I ever hoped possible, and I can't put him through anymore pain than I can prevent."

That's . . . very caring of you, Kurt," Rachel said after a moments reflection. "But didn't your dad have to threaten to sue the school to get you this chance? I don't think he'll be happy about you blowing it."

"He won't be," Kurt confirmed with a sad smile, "but it was the only way I could protect him. He'll understand that." With that, he turned back to face the piano, starting once again to play Defying Gravity. He still needed to brace himself to face his father, and he was pretty sure that this conversation set him back a bit. He needed to be strong when he told Burt what happened, needed to be able to hide the pain.

Luckily, this time, Rachel took the hint that the conversation was over. She left quietly and, as she closed the door behind her, felt her heart break just a little bit for the boy she just left alone.