12: Be Prepared

It doesn't take long to get Mom to agree. She wants him to feel safe, and she really does like Burt. Really, the only reason they didn't stay moved in together last year was, well, because Finn fucked it up. Oops.

He has to stay in Kurt's room for now, but he doesn't mind this time. He and Kurt are over all that drama; they're friends again. Finn's glad he doesn't have to stress more, really.

Kurt makes him a lot of tea. "For warming, soothing properties," he says.

Finn doesn't really like tea, but Kurt's trying to be nice so he accepts it anyway. When he dumps a lot of sugar in it, it's okay.

He wanders into the bathroom this one time, and watches Kurt putting up a new shower curtain. It has some kind of latch thing.

"Um, dude? What are you doing?"

"Finn!" Kurt looks shocked. "I thought you were out!"

"...Why would you think that?" He's not gone out much; he keeps worrying people will sneak up from behind him and... But he doesn't want to mention all that.

Kurt frowns. "Actually, I'm not really sure."

"Oh." There's an awkward pause. "So, uh, you didn't answer my first question – what are you doing?"

"Huh?" Kurt looks a little weird. "Oh, I, er – I bought a new shower curtain. The old one was throwing the color scheme all off."

"The whole bathroom's white, Kurt; including both shower curtains, so how can that..." Finn realizes halfway through his sentence that Kurt is probably bullshitting him, at least about why he's doing this. He doesn't quite get his thought straight, but whatever it is, it makes him ask "And why does it have, like, a lock?"

"It's not a lock, Finn; it's a latch at most."

"I said like."

Kurt rolls his eyes. But he still doesn't answer.

Finn's thought starts making it's way into the part of his brain that figures out words for things.

"Wait... you think I'm gonna... not trust you and feel like I have to...?"

Kurt cringes a little. "Maybe."

"Dude, I said–"

"I know, but... I know I made you feel uncomfortable last year. Parts of that were my fault and parts of it were yours, but the point is – it happened. And, well, given... what you're going through... I just thought it would be good to, er, minimize potential discomfort. Because, well... I just expected you to be cautious about..."

Finn nods along with this. "Okay," he says. "But... no. Man, I – I need to trust you, okay? I can't go around being all paranoid and shit."

"I don't think you should call yourself paranoid," he says. "I mean – from what I gathered, you rather underestimated the threat of Karofsky and Azimio before... what happened happened. And, well, I just thought you'd be – scared of making the same mistake twice. Not that I'd ever do that, but... you have only my word as evidence, and I wouldn't blame you too much for considering that, well, not much proof. I just... took precautions to make you feel safer. I didn't think you'd do it on your own."

Finn shakes his head. This is hard to understand, but... "Kurt... I can't be scared of you. I can't." Kurt looks confused, and Finn tries to explain. "It's just... I'm want to be, er, about as okay as I can with everything. Even though screaming and crying and hating everyone might make people believe me more, it just doesn't sound fun."

"I understand," Kurt says. "But I was trying to make sure you'd stay calm – not go all screaming and crying and... well, you know."

"Yeah, but..." Finn bites his lip. "I can't get paranoid about this, okay? I can't be like, those guys... raped me and so everyone else ever is going to too... I trusted you before all this, okay? I trusted you now, in any case. So I'm not changing that; it'd just... whatever."

Kurt nods. "Okay. I'm sorry, then."

Finn shakes his head. "It's cool. You were just trying to help. Which you didn't even really have to do, given how easy it is to fight about whether or not you even did anything wrong..."

There's an awkward pause, and Finn cocks his head to the side.

"Never liked that shower curtain anyway," he says. "It had this whole... texture thing. It made me think of mold."

Kurt laughs at the face he pulls.


So, life goes on. They exist. Finn manages not to have any real psychological breakdowns, so everything's cool, he guesses.

Kurt's in the kitchen, frowning. "Hey man," Finn asks. "What's up?"

"I was just wondering..." Kurt looks at him, biting his lip. "You don't have any medications or such that I should be aware of, right? I mean, after..."

It takes a second for Finn to understand. Oh. "...Er, they haven't actually called us with the test results yet. For like, infections and stuff, after what they... Maybe the doctors should have by now, but whatever. They said it wasn't high risk 'cause of, um... being a blowjob and lactation or something, but..."

"I'm fairly sure lactation is not the word you mean, but oh well," Kurt says. "I just thought... Well, if they performed a rape kit I always expected they'd be, er, fast and dedicated or... something."

Finn frowns in confusion. "Rape kit?" he asks. "Okay, now I'm kind of imagining suitcases full of rape and that doesn't make any sense, does it?"

"Not really," Kurt says. "A rape kit is meant to be something they do... when a person has been, well, sexually assaulted. I don't really know what it involves, but..."

"Oh. Well, uh, they tested me for STDs and cleaned up that thing from where Karofsky stabbed me with a key, but apart from that... That doesn't count, does it?"

"I don't think so," says Kurt. "I'm fairly sure a rape kit is meant to collect evidence for prosecution. Which, given how many days it's been since the, um, assault, wouldn't do a lot of good anymore."

Finn cringes a little at the idea of collecting anything for prosecution – he's starting to realize he's shit scared of going to the cops about this, and every time someone makes him think of the idea he gets a little bit more shit scared.

He also cringes a little at – he thinks he remembers people at the hospital asking him what he wanted them to do, apart from those tests or whatever. He just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, so he brushed most of everything off – did he do something wrong?

"Oh," he says. "Well... shit."

Kurt sighs, and makes his way over to a kitchen chair. "Well, I guess we just have to hope police and jurors and such will believe your testimony. But I don't really see a reason for them not to."

Finn cringes more. He doesn't know if actually talking about all this is a good idea, but–

"Kurt, uh..."

"...What?"

Finn takes a breath. Okay. "Look, you keep – actually, everyone keeps going on about, like, stuff that would happen if I go to the cops... and I'm not really sure I'm going to. And, uh, everyone seems to take it as... something I'm just going to do, and it's making me kind of uncomfortable."

Kurt frowns at him. "Why not?"

"Huh?"

"Why won't you report it to the authorities?"

"I – I don't know; because I think it'll be hard and stressful and–"

"Don't you want them to be punished for what they did to you?"

"Of – of course, but it's not that simp–"

"What could possibly be so important it overrides a need for justice?"

"Kurt, could you let me finish a sentence?" Finn snaps. Kurt goes quiet, and Finn sighs. "I don't – I don't really know what it is, okay? It's just... the whole idea of going to complete strangers and telling them to fix it for me, with absolutely no control over it, and then having to tell a complete room full of more strangers and try to tell them what happened, and then people specifically trying to convince everyone I'm lying, and then a whole bunch of people with nothing to do with anything get to fucking vote on whether or not it's true... That whole idea freaks me out, okay? So can I just... not deal with it? At least for now?"

"No," Kurt says. Finn recoils – wait, what? "Finn – look, the legal system works the way it does for a reason. And, well, I can understand you having emotional problems with everything, but – you need to be strong, Finn.

"I'm try–"

"I was trying to be respectful, but you really do need to get a move on – the longer you wait, the less likely you'll get a conviction. And then they'll get away with it, and – who knows, maybe this'll happen to someone else! Do you really want that on your conscience?"

"Kurt, I'm trying to be strong," Finn says. Kurt raises an eyebrow. "Really. I am. I really want to be able to cope with this and like, deal. But... I can't do that while putting myself through even more pain and stress or whatever."

"Maybe it won't be that bad?" Kurt suggests. Finn flinches.

"I don't know, but – look, I... I just don't think I can do all that. I'm sorry."

"Well, again, what about everyone else?" Kurt asks. "I mean, Karofsky and Azimio are horrible people. Why would they stop with one victim? If you can put them away, you have to, otherwise – you're just letting it happen! Why would you want someone to go through what you are right now? It's just selfish, Finn."

"Kurt," Finn chokes out, and suddenly he feels exactly like he did four days ago when Santana stood up and called him a lying liar who lies in front of everyone who cared about him – Kurt was as mad as anyone about what she pulled; how can he make Finn feel the same way? "I can't. Not now. Yeah, it's selfish, but... it's taking a lot of fucking work to keep me together right now. I can't protect everyone else too, Kurt. And – and why is it my responsibility, huh? It wasn't my fault when they did this to me, right? It was theirs! What changes that?"

"Don't you get it, Finn?" Kurt shrieks, and he sounds fucking crazy now – he looks hurt and upset, like he's going to cry. Okay, Finn really, really doesn't get it. "I'm not scared of Karofsky and Azimio going after some hypothetical person you'll probably never know at all and probably won't know they've done anything to 'em even if you do know the person themselves. Finn, I'm worried about them coming after me."

"...Huh?"

"Finn, think about it," Kurt says. "Why did they always hate you? Deep-seated homophobia and their misinterpretation of your sexuality. And it led to them doing that to you. And I can't help but think... well, given I'm actually gay and everything, they have more motive to do this to me than you if anything. And I'm scared, Finn. Look, what happened to you was horrible and I'd give anything to go back and stop it happening, but – it's something we can lock them up for and stop it ever happening again. And isn't that better? I'm sorry, but I just can't understand why you refuse to protect anyone – why you're refusing to protect me."

Finn stares at him blankly. He hadn't even managed to think of Karofsky and Azimio hurting people he knows – he vaguely thought of them hurting someone, but...

"Kurt," he says. "...I don't actually know where they are anymore, right? They kind of disappeared off the face of the Earth."

"They can be subpoenaed; that's not the point."

"...I don't know," Finn says. Kurt cringes at him. "Maybe, later I could like, steel myself up or something, but – I... maybe I am just weak, and selfish, but I kind of need to be. It happened to me. Why can't it still be about me?"

"Because the world doesn't work that way!" Kurt snaps, angry look on his face. He stands up, and Finn recoils as he remembers tall, angry figures looming over him – don't be ridiculous, Kurt wouldn't. "Look, I know I should be sensitive to what you're going through, and I can't understand, but... You are leaving people in danger without even trying for no real reason other than 'but I don't feel like it!'. And I cannot have sympathy for that."

Kurt turns on his heel and struts down to the basement, slamming the door behind him. Finn cringes at the sound, and stays at the table, frozen. He's gonna cry.

Does Kurt have a point? Is he being selfish by refusing to do anything about this? Should it not all be about him?

But two guys pinned him down and forced their dicks down his throat. Completely ignoring what he wanted. Is it so bad he doesn't want people ignoring what he wants again?

Finn doesn't know what to think. So he sits there and cries.

A lot.