Chapter 1

Kurt Hummel had been enrolled in Dalton for the past two weeks, and he was pretty sure it was going to go down as one of the best decisions he'd ever make in his entire life. Sure, he missed his friends in New Directions, and even felt a little guilty about going up against them in Regionals as a member of the Warblers. And yes, he had to convince his dad to tap into his college fund for the tuition. But it really hadn't been that difficult of an argument. Not after Burt had found him curled up on the bathroom floor, weeping hysterically and repeating "It's killing me…they're killing me…he's killing me" over and over again.

Here at Dalton there were no slushies, wedgies, or swirlies (and why was it that such humiliating tortures always ended with -ies, anyway?). There were no taunts of "faggot" or "homo" as he walked down the halls, and no bruises on his pale skin from being slammed into lockers. Just a feeling of peace, acceptance and belonging. Clotheshorse though he was, Kurt even relished the required uniform. It signified him as someone who was part of something else, rather than the outsider he'd always felt like at McKinley High. And of course, there was Blaine, who always seemed to know exactly what to say and when to say it. Quite often with the cutest expression on his face.

Kurt wove his way down the hallway, enjoying smiling and nodding as opposed to keeping an eye out for potential danger in his peripheral vision. He noticed Stephen, who was in a couple of his classes, waving him down from his locker.

"Hey Kurt! Mr. Denny in the office said there's some guy wanting to see you when you're done with classes for the day. Someone from your old school?"

Kurt pondered. Stephen had said "guy", so it definitely wasn't Mercedes, who had stopped in last week "to check out your fancy new digs". Maybe Mr. Schuester had come by to try to talk him into transferring back to help New Directions win at Regionals? That seemed kind of unprofessional and out of character for Mr. Schue, though. He suddenly though that maybe it was Finn, needing to talk to him about their parents. Kurt had been getting the vibe from his dad lately that he wanted to pop the question to Carole. He grinned and started making his way towards the lobby.

When he got there, his heart dropped into his stomach. It wasn't Finn, or Mr. Schue, or anyone from his former glee club. It was the last person Kurt would have ever expected to show up for a visit.

It was Dave Karofsky.